By Katy Savage
KILLINGTON—Sick of long lines to the chairlift?
For $6,500, you can have the entire base lodge and two lifts to yourself on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Pico Mountain is now available to rent this winter season.
Pico will provide food and an open bar at an additional expense.
Pico Mountain Director of Operations Rich McCoy said Pico Mountain, which is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, lends itself to group rentals.
“We’ve had inquiries on this before,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Pico has been offered for rent. Around 2013, Pico was listed for rent for $10,000 on e-Bay.
“We didn’t get any real bites, but we had seen other resorts doing it,” said Lee Cohen, the group sales manager at Killington and Pico.
Pico has 57 trails and a vertical drop of 1,967 feet, making it one of the tallest mountains in the state, according to its website.
Pico isn’t the first small ski area to rent its space. Plattekill Mountain, a privately-owned ski resort in Roxbury, New York, is also available to rent while Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry has been available to rent since 2016.
Ski Magic LLC President Geoff Hatheway said renting Magic is a way make money on mid-week days.
“The ski industry has traditionally lost money on these days,” Hatheway said. “Smaller independent mountains? We can’t do that.”
Magic is available for rent for $5,000 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday—days it’s closed to the public.
Hatheway had two groups rented Magic in 2016 and that four last year.
Lycored, an international wellness company, rented Magic last Valentine’s Day, while RK Miles, a building company in Londonderry, rented the mountain to entertain customers and suppliers.
Some have also rented the mountain to host a private party, said Hatheway.
“You’ve got to have a little bit of money, but it’s a great way to do something special,” he said.
Pico has tried various mid-week deals tactics to increase sales. It has offered men’s, women’s days and seniors’ days with discounted $25 lift tickets, though doing that hasn’t made financial sense, said Cohen.
“That’s a tough program to offer,” he said.
He hopes more concentrated marketing efforts for the rental option at Pico generates more money.
The $6,500 rental fee at Pico will cover operational costs to run two lifts—the Golden lift and Summit lift with between 10 and 20 employees.
Cohen said some of his friends have already expressed an interest in renting the mountain.