There was a buzz of excitement at this year's annual Killington
Chamber of Commerce meeting held at the Killington Grand Hotel Oct.
16 after the resort announced the addition of new gladed trails,
new "natural woods" backcountry trails and an official skinning
policy at both Killington and Pico resorts, as well as a slew of
customer-driven lodge and lift improvements.
The crowd erupted in applause when they learned of the five new
glades that will be open at Killington and four at Pico. Plus,
parts of the formerly restricted backcountry, skied by locals for
years according to Temple, will now be open to the public, listed
on maps as "natural woods" trails. In total this will add 700 more
acres of skiing at Killington and more than 200 new acres at
Four top executives from Killington Resort spoke, including
President Mike Solimano, Killington Marketing Manager Rob
Killington Operations Manager Jeff Temple and Pico Manager Tracy
Solimano said this winter season, guests should see many of
their top concerns answered.
"We have been trying to treat them better, which is a pretty
basic thing," he said, and those efforts are beginning to pay off.
Vermont's share of the country's 56 million skier visits last
season grew 16 percent, and Killington Resort's share of those
skiers grew 24 percent last winter - an increase of 146,000 visits
in one season, Solimano said.
Building on the One Killington initiative and improving Net
Promoter Score, the resort and community will continue to take aim
at achieving the highest customer rating in the East.
NPS, many successful companies believe, is the most important
indicator of customer happiness. It asks the simple question "how
likely are you to recommend Killington to your family and friends"
recognizing that it is the totality of a guests experience that
matters. The goal is to improve from the communities current number
of 69 to 73, the highest rating for any resort on the East.
The resort also announced that it will again try to open first
and close last, on the East Coast, early season pass purchasers
will get money in return for buying early, people over the age of
80 will ski free, more discounted youth passes are now offered, and
the resort will pro-rate season passed for anyone who gets hurt
mid-season, not just those with additional insurance.
Also new this year, based on top customer complaints about
antiquated lodges and crowding on trails, will be cleaner
bathrooms, more water, and tissues offered near lifts, earlier
openings on Skyeship and added signage at congested trail
There will be a new "morning entrance" at K1 for easier access
from the parking lots and base area, and a heated concrete
The mountain is also giving away free skis and bindings from
Elan for any guest who purchases a four-day Learn to Ski
Other than major investments the executives covered the Peak
Lodge atop Killington Peak, which is (thus far) on schedule to open
by Christmas 2013, and new snowmaking hardware.
Cristina Kumka is a freelance reporter for
The Mountain Times. She can be reached directly at