New snowmaking and grooming equipment, along with increased sustainable energy resources, will give guests unbeatable on-mountain experience in 2017/18 at Killington and Pico. Photo by Chandler Burgess.
Vermont Business Magazine Carrying the momentum of a two-year commitment to host the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in 2017 and 2018, Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard resort in Eastern North America and part of the POWDR adventure lifestyle company, will offer a number of guest experience upgrades this coming season. POWDR has invested $5.7 million in capital improvements at Killington and Pico across the properties year-round attractions. The investments in 2017/2018 will further enhance snowmaking equipment and infrastructure, upgrade and rebuild lifts, expand summer activities at the resort and improve the overall experience at both resorts.
Since POWDR purchased Killington Resort and Pico Mountain in 2007, infrastructure improvements have exceeded more than $50 million, including a new lift, lift drives, snowmaking systems and Killington’s signature Peak Lodge. POWDR is committed to creating sustainable communities and engaging the next generation of action sports enthusiasts and their significant investment at Killington and Pico support this mission.
“As we prepare to host another Ski World Cup in November, investments are being made to further enrich the experience at Killington and Pico,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “The investments being made this year will help Killington and Pico preserve leadership in resort operations, sustainability and overall guest experience year-round. Last year, we hosted the longest winter season in the East, operating 201 days between October 22 and June 1, and we’re hopeful that 2018 will be bigger and better with these enhancements.”
Snowmaking Equipment and Infrastructure
Killington Resort will make major investments to its state-of-the-art snowmaking capabilities, highlighted by a partnership with Efficiency Vermont to add 163 new low energy tower snow guns. This significant increase in low energy tower guns, along with a number of other critical system improvements, not only push’s the resort closer to a sustainable operation, but allows Killington to open ski terrain much more quickly and efficiently. Best-in-class snowmaking is a key reason Killington is able to host the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in November. In total, Killington Resort will earmark $1.7 million in snowmaking improvements and upgrades for 2018.
Pico Mountain improves snowmaking by increasing water capacity in their two snowmaking ponds with a dredging project completed this past summer. Additionally, key pipelines were replaced, valve stations upgraded and pump houses augmented to improve snowmaking at Pico Mountain. This $200,000 investment in snowmaking will enhance the guest experience and conditions throughout the 2017/2018 season.
Snow Grooming Machines
Killington has added three new grooming tractors to its impressive fleet of snow groomers. The new snow groomers are among the most powerful and efficient pieces of machinery in the industry and will enhance the operator’s ability to deliver the best possible snow surface. A Prinoth groomer comes with the latest technology for terrain park grooming, providing the ability to creatively shape trending features which will further enhance Killington’s world-class terrain parks. Killington will invest $965,000 in new snow grooming equipment this year.
Lift Upgrades and Rebuilds
Killington Resort will make significant upgrades this year to its lift infrastructure, totaling $665,000 in improvements. As design and pricing is ongoing for a proposed new South Ridge lift for 2018/19, existing ski lifts are being upgraded. The Snowdon Triple is undergoing significant upgrades over two years with new haul rope, additional towers, a mid-station, new communications infrastructure and lift line tower heads while the K-1 Express Gondola, Sunrise Village Triple and Superstar Express Quad also receive upgraded equipment. These improvements are part of an annual program to upgrade older lift technology. The upgrade program, along with the proposed addition of a new ski lift, continues to enhance the guest accessibility to ski terrain with the resorts massive 27 lift network.
Summer Activity Upgrades
With summer now marching into fall, the warmer season remains top-of-mind with completed investments. Killington Resort added activities for young children in the Adventure Center for this past summer, which already offered a wide array of attractions such as a trampoline jump, zip lining and the popular Beast Mountain Coaster. Adults enjoyed improvements to the Snowshed Umbrella Bar, a year-round bar and deck located slope side near the water at Snowshed Pond while guests of all ages can enjoy a new bocce ball court, and enhanced Witchcraft event programing this fall, as well as a variety of other projects to increase the guest experience. In total, $689,000 will be allocated to summer activities at Killington.
Mountain Bike Park
The Killington Mountain Bike Park is in the midst of a multi-year build out designed by Gravity Logic, a world leader in the design of sustainable progressive mountain bike trails for summer resort operations, which will continue to set the standard for mountain bike park operations in the eastern U.S. New projects include a new 2.5 mile jump trail, skills park and a 1.6 mile old school hybrid trail for an exciting and diverse riding experience bikers of all levels can enjoy. Three high-speed detachable lifts, including the K-1 Express Gondola service all of the bike park’s terrain, setting Killington Resort apart from the competition. No other bike park in New England is served by as many high-speed lifts. Also, added this year are state-of-the-art bike carriers on the Snowshed and Ramshead Express Quads, which allow riders to self-load their bikes creating an ease of use factor and increased uphill carrying capacity.. With the addition of more than 10 new miles of trail in the last two bike seasons, there are now 30 miles of trails, making it the largest downhill bike park in eastern North America. Killington will have invested $500,000 in bike park improvements before the end of operations this fall.
Solar Sites and Renewable Energy
Already a leader in sustainability, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain will increase its renewable power capabilities as a part of POWDR’s Play Forever sustainability efforts. Killington and Pico will have nine solar installations for 2017/18, featuring six resort locations with three AllEarth Solar Trackers which have been designed, tested and engineered in Vermont at each. The units use GPS technology to follow the sun throughout the day, allowing them to produce up to 45 percent more energy than a fixed system. The trackers, plus three new rooftop installations, are expected to generate approximately 200,000 kWh of clean electricity annually.
In addition to the on-mountain solar installations, Killington partnered with Namaste Solar to develop four off-site solar farms within a short drive from the mountain. The four projects will be energized before the end of 2017 and generate more than 3,000,000 kWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to nearly 12% percent of the resorts annual usage. The projects allow Killington to realize significant savings while doing its part to help the state of Vermont meet the visionary goal of achieving 90 percent of Vermont’s total energy needs from renewable sources by 2050. The projects also help the resort reinvest into its energy future. Additionally, two new electric car charging stations are being added along with the existing unit at the Grand Hotel. Each new site will have both a Tesla and a universal charger.
Ongoing Infrastructure Improvements
Killington Resort will continue to improve the overall delivery of service to its guests with a number of other infrastructure and operations improvements at the property. Fiscal year 2018 improvements will include a new state-of-the-art tuning machine for its demo and modern rental ski fleet, new vehicles, and other impactful guest experience projects.
About Killington Resort
Killington Resort is a four season destination sitting on 3,000 acres in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains. The Beast of the East boasts 92 miles of diverse snow sports terrain spread across six peaks including Pico Mountain, served by the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in Eastern North America. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course, the family-friendly Snowshed Adventure Center, 35 miles of mountain biking trails with expansion underway with Gravity Logic, plus 15 miles of hiking trails. The seemingly infinite après, dining, and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for over 55 years. Killington is part of the POWDR portfolio. Visit www.killington.com for more information and be social with #beast365 and #beastwinter.
Source: KILLINGTON, Vt. (October 4, 2017) – Killington