By Karen D. Lorentz
Killington Resort is seeing positive results from their summer expansion efforts with several areas of growth reported for summer 2016.
“Overall business levels are trending positively with total revenue up over 25 percent from last year, “reported Killington’s Communications and Public Relations Manager Michael Joseph. “While consecutive years of revenue growth validate our mountain biking and adventure center investments, we are still in the early stages of a long-term investment. Our labor and operational costs have been rising on pace with our revenue and we need to see this growth (25 percent or more year-over-year) sustained over the next five years before we really consider ourselves successful. Of course we’re still learning what works and what appeals to our guests,” he added.
Asked for highlights, Joseph said, “Mountain Bike Season Pass sales have grown significantly, from less than 150 in 2015 to over 550 in 2016,” attributing the increase to the investments in the bike park.
“We’ve seen over 30 percent growth in mountain bike visits every year since we began our Gravity Logic-designed expansion; the focus on creating more beginner and intermediate trails during phase one paid off immediately, and our bike park product is more well-rounded and progression-oriented than ever.
“Mountain biking is more weather proof than the Adventure Center — a forecast for rain or wind doesn’t scare away most riders, but most folks don’t plan to zip line in the rain and wind,” he added. Nevertheless, the Adventure Center growth was “up over 40 percent” this summer, Joseph said.
Golf was up 20 percent, too, he added, attributing the growth to good weather, events and tournaments and GolfBoards.
Events and changes
Addressing the role of events, Joseph said, “One single event, even one as large as the Spartan Race, cannot carry us on its own. That’s why we’re making sure to have events every weekend through the summer and fall, offering a more consistently exciting set of activities with more reasons to extend a stay or return.
“Our events and Adventure Center activities have a symbiotic relationship where each supports the other —offering our guests more to do, which is the end goal,” he said.
Asked how any changes impacted summer business, Joseph said the Umbrella Bar move to Snowshed with outdoor patio has “already been widely embraced. The mountain bike trail work on Ramshead was significant, but the feedback from our first ProGRT race, with professionals and amateurs all gushing over the new trails, was very energizing, and general guest feedback on the new terrain has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Summing up future plans as currently known, Joseph said the resort will continue to expand the mountain bike park and will look to add events to any open weekends. He also noted “bringing in more options for young kids at the adventure center,” noting this would likely be “more of an experience enhancing strategy than a revenue generator.”
He also foresees the new WitchCraft beer and harvest festival (debuting this weekend) growing to “a month-long celebration of fall in Vermont, with lots of unique and spooky activities that enhance the already gorgeous foliage peeping experience.”
Killington Resort reports strong summer growth
By Karen D. Lorentz