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KILLINGTON, Vt. (October 10, 2016) – Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, has begun snowmaking in advance of the 2016 Audi FIS Ski World Cup comes to Vermont’s largest ski area on November 26-27, 2016. Killington Resort was the first North American ski mountain to open its season to the general public in 2015, in part because of the resort’s advanced snowmaking and grooming prowess.
Killington typically begins the longest season in the East with exclusive access for season pass holders, rewarding commitment to the resort with the first turns of the winter. Season Passes, Express Cards and K-Tickets are all currently on sale, but with price deadlines approaching later this week. Snowmaking lit up on Killington and Skye Peaks just before dawn Monday, building stockpiles for both public consumption on North Ridge trails and the approaching Audi FIS Ski World Cup races on the legendary trail Superstar.
In addition to summer snowmaking improvements to the water lines, Killington has dedicated a snowmaking team to specifically build the race venue on Superstar where the women’s slalom and giant slalom races will take place. Killington’s powerful snowmaking system has the ability to pump more than 720,000 gallons of water into 240 snow guns, covering 80 acres with 12 inches of fresh snow in a matter of hours. Killington’s snowmaking capacity and grooming allow the mountain to maintain a dependable and consistent snow surface regardless of weather conditions.
“Our operations team has snowmaking and grooming down to a science, which makes Killington able to host an event of this magnitude early in the season,” said Mike Solimano, President and General Manager of Killington Resort. “Hosting the World Cup is a tremendous opportunity for both Killington and the East in general. We are preparing for a successful event regardless of how much powder Mother Nature drops between now and Thanksgiving.”
Killington will be the first mountain in the eastern US to host an Alpine World Cup event in 25 years. The general public is invited to view the women’s giant slalom and slalom races in a free general admission area, which will accommodate approximately 7,500 spectators. Free parking and shuttle buses for event spectators will be provided during the weekend. Appropriate attire for winter weather is recommended for the outdoor venue, including sturdy waterproof shoes and multiple layers. No pets, lawn chairs or coolers will be permitted in the Expo Village. In addition, rock band O.A.R. will headline a robust music and entertainment lineup for World Cup spectators.
Killington and Pico continue to focus on snowmaking and lift operations, replacing primary water lines, rebuilding pumps and hydrants to boost efficiency, and also upgrading lift drives including the K-1 Express and Skyeship Express gondolas, making them more reliable. Also new at Killington is the $3.5 million Snowshed Adventure Center, boasting a nearly mile-long Beast Mountain Coaster, a soaring Skyeride over 100 feet above Snowshed Pond, a four-story Skye Ropes Course and much more.
KILLINGTON, Vt. (August 20, 2015) – Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, continues to invest in capital improvements, adding year-round attractions, expanding its mountain bike trail network, and upgrading lifts and snowmaking systems for the upcoming 2015-16 winter season. Since Powdr Resorts purchased Killington Resort and Pico Mountain in 2007, infrastructure improvements have exceeded $40 million, including lifts, lift drives, snowmaking systems and Killington’s signature Peak Lodge.
“We had a tremendous winter with snowmaking production to match, and remained open for skiing and riding through Memorial Day, once again owning the longest season in the East. Building on that energy, we added the Snowshed Adventure Center with ten attractions and a host of new mountain bike trails. Already our summer business has increased 100% compared to last summer,” stated Mike Solimano, president and general manager for Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “We invested significantly in the Beast Mountain Coaster and other attractions for this summer, and will operate many year-round, adding depth to what was already the best winter destination experience available in the East.”
Killington continues to invest in infrastructure and guest-experience projects, including efforts to increase the reliability of the most expansive lift network in the East. This year’s capital improvement budget includes investment at the new Snowshed Adventure Center in excess of $3.5 million, and lift and snowmaking improvements exceeding $1 million.
In addition to the significant investment in projects to improve guest experience, Killington recently signed a 20-year purchase agreement with Namaste Solar to receive 3 MW of power from six new 500 kW solar arrays constructed in Vermont. Building on the resort’s commitment to sustainability and being the greenest resort in Vermont, the 4,700 MWh’s of new solar generated electricity will cover all energy needs required to pump water to snow guns on ski trails at both Killington and Pico.
Another large-scale project underway at Killington is a $750,000 reimagining and remodeling of the Ovations restaurant at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. New plans call for an open-air bar and restaurant in the hotel’s lower lobby, creating the premier destination for après ski dining and drinking in the Killington region.
This summer, Killington Resort formally kicked off a five-year mountain bike park expansion, directing over $175,000 to trail building efforts, with many new trails already open for riders. Killington’s mountain bike park initiative is in partnership with Gravity Logic, the Whistler, British Columbia-based mountain bike trail design experts. Gravity Logic is working with the resort to transform Killington’s mountain bike offerings to include more beginner and intermediate-friendly terrain while continuing to add more flow and freeride trails for experts.
New mountain bike trails are also being integrated seamlessly with the new Beast Mountain Coaster, with six trails passing under and over the coaster on bridges built from recycled steel from the original Killington Gondola’s Skye Peak terminal.
Over $600,000 has been earmarked for installing new electronic lift drive systems on the K-1 Express and Skyeship Express Gondolas, plus communications lines, new haul ropes, component upgrades, and improvements at load and unload terminals for a number of lifts across Killington and Pico resorts.
Another $600,000 is allocated to mountain improvements directly improving visitor experience including ski trail edging and widening, new ticket scanners, paving projects and a new park-specific grooming machine. Winter visitors will also feel the positive effects of snowmaking improvements including the replacement of key artery water pipelines to Killington Peak and Pico Peak, plus the rebuilding of hydrants, water pumps and additional new snowmaking hose.
Snowmaking infrastructure has been redesigned and relocated on the lower section of Superstar trail. This investment will enhance snow production on the signature trail by utilizing fans guns to make snow faster and more efficiently. This snowmaking improvement will impact the guest experience through the final day of the spring ski season with better snow coverage and depth.
In partnership with Killington Mountain School, over $600,000 is being invested to further improve the race and training venues at the resort. A new mid-station unload for the Snowdon Triple lift, and a permanent bag jump venue on lower Superstar will be constructed, setting the stage for future competitions and training programs. The bag jump will feature a full ramp and will be used year-round, creating a much more extensive jump site than existed before, capable of hosting summer jump camps, bringing additional energy to the resort.
“Our mountain crews have been very busy this summer with the extensive investment in both summer and winter improvements at the resort,” stated Jeff Temple, director of mountain operations and facilities maintenance for Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “With construction completed in record time for the highly successful Beast Mountain Coaster, new gravity-fed mountain bike trails and other summer activities, our focus now is on the many lift and snowmaking upgrades.”
“During the 2014-15 ski season, skier visits were up 9% over the 2013-14 season, and that helped drive significant growth in lodging, retail and food and beverage,” said Rob Megnin, director of sales and marketing at Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “Summer business has been growing rapidly as well, and we plan to carry that momentum into this winter.”