January 2017 Around Town

New Editor Joins SW Lake Lifestyle

Stephen Neilson joins SW Lake Lifestyle as Editor. Neilson brings a broad and multifaceted background in communications, photography and video production. Michael Beightol, publisher, says about Neilson: “His skills in photography and video balance perfectly with proven editorial skills to make him a great fit to lead the continuous editorial development of SW Lake Lifestyle. Best of all, Stephen is an enthusiastic community evangelist.”

Readers and businesses throughout the community are encouraged to contact Neilson directly with story ideas. He may be reached at Stephen.Neilson@LifestylePubs.com.

Local Ski & Snowboard 
Resort Re-Imagined

Already, visitors to the venerable Wilmot Mountain, just up the road past Fox Lake and over the state line, are finding lots of changes they like, thanks to new owners (Vail Resorts) and a big chunk of change ($13 million in improvements).

“While we think our guests will be thrilled with the on-mountain improvements, such as new chairlifts and state-of the art snowmaking, it’s the adoption of best practices in all aspects of guest service and on-mountain operations that will further elevate Wilmot Mountain,” says Taylor Ogilvie, general manager.

New lifts, rope tows and surface conveyors will increase capacity by up to 45 percent. The entire base lodge has been transformed with more seating and upgraded food and beverages. There’s a new bar for adults and Wi-Fi for everyone.

Generations of kids took their first turns at Wilmot. That will continue with a dedicated children’s ski and snowboard center at the base, featuring a playful open space for kids along with their own lunch and break room.

The transformation of Wilmot Mountain includes opportunities now for guests to purchase Vail Resorts’ season passes, which offer flexibility to choose options based on how much, and where, they plan to ski and snowboard. What this means is that skiing at Wilmot Mountain can be linked to nine world-class resorts out West: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar California and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe.

Pioneering SW Lake Musician Walks Red 
Carpet with Usher and 
Romeo Santos

Born in Palatine and a Hawthorn Woods resident since age eighteen, Anand Bhatt (aka, “El Latindio”) is a pioneering musician in the music genre known as Tropical Fusion which melds Latin, Indian and other musical influences. Anand’s newest release “Grito” is in English but sports his signature musical style.  Through his undergrad and post-graduate work at the University of Illinois and collaborations with local actors and musicians, Bhatt became the first Indian-American to walk the Latin Grammy red carpet.

Long Grove Scouts Make Improvements at Reed-Turner

Significant improvements at Reed-Turner Nature Center were recently completed through outstanding efforts by local Boy and Girl Scouts and their support teams:

  • Anthony Sorgani and team constructed a “missing link” in the boardwalk which carries visitors across a flood-prone meadow, so visitors won’t have to walk through mud during the rainy season.
  • Andrew Hammon and team refurbished and stabilized a bird observation blind that had blown over in high winds.
  • Girl Scout Troop 41041 restored and expanded the Center’s fire circle by designing and building new benches, replacing the old firebrick and perimeter brick with new, and installing new gravel in the entire area.

The scouts, dads, moms, and expert consultants all played key roles in completing these projects and successfully achieving their scouting awards.  Park District President Jane Wittig thanked the scouts and their support teams, commenting, “It is inspiring to see the teamwork and active support these scouts get from family, friends, and our expert consultants {that} help the scouts mature into successful and caring citizens.”

U.S. Rep Roskam visits Citizens 
for Conservation, lauds conservation efforts

U.S. Representative Peter Roskam recently visited Citizens for Conservation headquarters in Barrington to learn more about the group’s conservation efforts, its successful volunteer program and its collaborative community partnerships. After a presentation and discussion on CFC’s successful preservation and education achievements, Roskam toured part of Flint Creek Savanna with CFC board member Tom Vanderpoel. The congressman had particular praise for CFC’s extensive use of volunteers as well as its ability to “bring people together” to protect and preserve the community’s open lands. “This is a very satisfying place to be,” he said.