The Mountain Times

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Killington Chamber leases Bill's Country Store

The owners of Bill's Country Store have officially engaged in a lease with the Killington Chamber of Commerce to inhabit the vacant iconic red barn.

Beginning April 1, the lease is for three years, according to Phil Black, KCC board member and one of the five members of the partnership that bought Bill's at auction last year for $355,000.

The partnership consists of Chris Karr, Howard Smith, Steve Durkee, Aris Spanos and Black.

The Chamber board was expected to meet Tuesday, April 2 to determine if looking for financing to purchase the building from the five men would be most beneficial.

Black said in a recent interview that the 13-member Chamber board has to decide if it wants to renovate Bill's and install public restrooms now or save its money for the store's future purchase.

At the Killington Select Board meeting March 26, Sushi Yoshi owner and Bill's partner Howard Smith told the Select Board that the Chamber will call Bill's its new home and he and the other four property owners will continue to search for a flagship partner to also set up shop in the store.

Smith named nationally-known companies including Green Mountain Coffee and the Vermont Country Store as examples.

Black said the discussion of what to do after the Chamber moves in is very preliminary.

He said a key to getting people into the store at the main intersection of Route 4 and Route 100 is a restroom.

That opens up the opportunity to get people through kiosks, aware of marketing and aware of the ski town's rich history.
A day after the announcement at the meeting, Black said he received two phone calls of people interested in the project willing to offer seed money in exchange for possible advertisement space.

Cristina Kumka is a correspondent for The Mountain Times, Cristina can be reached at cristina.kumka@yahoo.com