FROM THE TOP :: HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS
Posted by Mike Solimano on December 15, 2016
We've been skiing and snowboarding since October 25 here at Killington, and with almost two months of the season behind us I felt it was time for an update - there's still a lot of season ahead with more terrain, snow and events coming your way.
WORLD CUP REFLECTIONS
We are still riding a high from the World Cup excitement at Killington over Thanksgiving Weekend, and I want to thank all of you that came out and supported the best female ski racers in the world – we really showed the global audience that our resort team was up to the challenge of hosting such a major event early in the season.
The feedback from the guests, FIS and the athletes and coaches has been amazing. In the days since the event, I’ve continued to get messages from racers telling us that the World Cup at Killington was the best race they have ever attended – something that floors me every time I read it!
As many of you know, we brought in a substantial amount of extra rental air compressors to help make snow on Superstar for the World Cup (remember air + water + cold temps = snow). The best part about this extra air compression, aside from the impressive World Cup course build we pulled off in November, is that they have helped us get more terrain open than would have been possible otherwise. I think this is evident by the fact that we were open for almost a month before our next closest northeastern competitor and continue to offer the most (or nearly the most) terrain in Vermont.
The World Cup was such a success that it begs the big question; will we do it again next year? We are in early discussions with the other stakeholders involved to see if we can make it happen, and I will let the Killington community know more as discussions progress.
SNOW, EXPANSION & WHAT’S NEXT
What a difference a year makes. Since opening day on October 25, 2016, we have received 62 inches of snow, compared to a whopping 7 inches in the same period last season. But, more importantly, we have had cold temperatures which have allowed our snowmakers to expand open terrain on a daily basis.
We currently have 78 trails open, including some glades, which is almost double most eastern resorts. This count is likely to rise by the time you read this, as Ski Patrol continues to drop ropes as quickly as possible, and it seems like we pick up a little more snow every night.
Our team is focused on getting to Bear Mountain by the December 17 weekend, then down Great Eastern to Skyeship Base before the holiday period.
And don’t forget, we already have Pico Mountain open for business next door, with lots of snow top to bottom and in the Birch Glades already. Our new Director of Operations at Pico is Rich McCoy, who most recently was director of retail and summer operations. I’m excited to see how Rich applies his years in the outdoor industry, experience with adding more family-friendly attractions at Snowshed and knowledge from the retail world to further enhance the Pico Mountain environment.
Looking at low temperatures and more snow in our forecast for the weeks ahead makes me confident that we’ll soon have 100% of terrain open at both Killington and Pico. This winter is already shaping up to be a great one - we haven’t had a start this strong in years!
OTHER NEWS & NOTES
In the days and weeks ahead you can expect the annual Holiday 101 posts about all the new services and amenities opening for the end of the year, but I wanted to provide a high level sneak at what’s ahead.
The building beside the Skyeship Gondola mid-station is now property of Killington Resort and you can expect to see a new dining venue, Jerk: Jamaican Mountain Grill, opening very soon offering jerk spiced food and lots of “grab and go” options. This is a totally new venture for our food and beverage team, and is led by Eric Rusch, the executive chef from the Peak Lodge, so you know it will be top notch.
The Ledgewood Yurt will be opening in late December for lunches and dinner excursions, plus snow tubing, fat biking, snowshoeing and Adventure Center attractions like the Beast Mountain Coaster will be opening up for the holidays too.
If you have questions about this year’s plans, or suggestions for how we can improve the Killington experience, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the hill!