By Evan Johnson
The owners of the Cortina Inn in Killington have a plan to breathe new life into the space. This spring, the Cortina will close operations in early April as it begins work to become residential care facility with specialized units for memory care that would house 75.
“We did a market study and we realized this would do well here,” said Cortina general manager Patrick Kitchin. “Vermont is an aging demographic. It’s going to lend that to us very well.”
Kitchin said the inn had struggled to fill its rooms during the ski season.
“There are just too many beds in Killington,” he said. “It’s fine when it’s busy, but when it’s dead, it’s too much. We can continue to run it at a loss, sell it, foreclose on it or convert it because it’s not doing well as it is.”
Kitchin said the owners have put $4.5 million in renovations to the inn since opening in 2011 and will spend another $2 million on converting the space. Major renovations are ahead for the roof and common areas.
“Because we’ll have full-time residents, there’s a lot more we have to do to the building,” said Kitchin The facility will be staffed by 35-40 full-time, year-round employees. The inn currently is staffed by 12-15 part-time seasonal employees, with Kitchin being the only full-time, year-round employee.
The facility will have to be compliant with the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living. It will be required to meet residents’ health and medical needs and provide daily activities.
The conversion process is estimated to take nine months, with a tentative opening in early next year.
A name for the new facility has yet to be chosen.
“We’re trying something that goes with the area and Pico, because we look right at it,” said Kitchin.
By Evan Johnson
Cortina Inn’s main entrance