Tell us about the Okoru Ski Trip?
It's essentially a week's snow holiday with your mates, 4* standard, 2* pricing. Skiing and snowboarding in a good, relatively unknown resort, with a range of other activities organised by our team. Always free access to a spa and pool and better than standard accommodation. Nightly DJs, apres events, lorry inner tube tyre racing, a pool party... We visit resorts that aren't on the tourist trail and therefore don't come with inflated pricing. We attract mostly mid-twenties, kinda post-grad age but it ranges from 20 - 45 really.. my mum wants to come next year haha.
How did the trip come about? This isn't your first year, right?
Yeh that's right, four years ago we asked a friend who runs a ski tour operator if he could put together a cheap deal for us, thinking we'd get a group of 10-15 mates.... a facebook page later, we had 65 people signed up... It's grown naturally through friendship groups since then, up to nearly 200 last year. We've only ever put up a facebook event page to promote the trip and we want to keep it that way, so it stays within friendship circles.
What's changed over the last few years?
The first groups of friends who came year one, are still coming, which tells us we are doing something right. When we first put it on, it was just a ski holiday with our friends. There was one bar in the town, which we took over every night and our DJs played records.. Last year we were hosting different music nights every day, in different venues, apres gigs, a pool party, competitions on the slopes... it was a lot more work! This year we have Anushka coming to play live, Soulworks coming out to host a night and hopefully a few other surprises up our sleeves...
Any tough lessons you've learned along the way? A funny stories you can tell us?
It's now got so many people that it's become a lot more work.... precisely what we wanted to avoid when we started it haha... last year I needed a week's holiday to get over the holiday!
Funny stories, where to start... Tommy got stuck on the wrong side of the mountain when the lifts closed, meaning a 4hr £150 journey via public transport and taxis... There's the infamous rap battle - different groups of friends writing lyrics about each other to win the coveted Rap Battle Trophy. Or the Dance Off battle.... or when the police turned up to shut down our flat party at 5am...? Or the £3,500 damage bill from the accommodation.. Maybe the last ones are not so funny.
Tips for when you are there? Anything to tick off the bucket list?
1.50 Euro Sparkling White Wine, or Trampagne as we call it. Always a winner.
Waiting at the top of the lifts till they have closed to watch the sun go down and then ski back in complete peace... that's become a bit of a standard.
Building a kicker into some powder and pretending you are superman for a moment..
Do you need to be an experienced skier/ snowboarder to enjoy the trip?
Not at all, each year we attract probably 25% complete beginners, we actively want to bring new people to the mountains as it's what we do, it's what we love... There are group lessons, but we also get a lot of people teaching their mates on the first few days... it's surprising how quickly you can pick it up if you have a can-do attitude and other people to learn with.
How do people book if they want to come?
Our deadline for final payments of all bookings is the 6th December. So just over 3 weeks... Get on it.
They can head to our facebook event page here for all the information and then book up via the Nuco Travel website;
What does Okoru get up to for the rest of the year?
We design, manage and produce events from start to finish. Alps in the winter, festivals in the summer. We have a range of in-house crew from creative and design to technical and production management. I met my business partner in Verbier and we spoke about the state of the music industry in the alps. We wanted to bring good credible music to ski resorts rather than the commercial shit that was on offer. That year we toured the alps doing 72 shows in 4 months. 5 years later, we're involved in pretty much every major music event that happens out here. In the summer we're involved with a range of music festivals and other events at varying levels.
Any other big plans for 2015?
We've just started working with Snowboxx Festival, which we are all pretty excited about. We're overseeing the management and production of the entire festival, so there's a lot to crack on with!
We're also working with our friends Eton Messy to produce a series of warehouse parties across the UK.. Then looking forward to the summer, we'll be touring our new project Tropical Tea Party at a number of UK and hopefully European festivals, watch this space.
Where can our Don't Panic's readers find out more about Okoru?
Facebook is probably best, we're not very good at using twitter.. or our website (which again needs some work!)