Killington Resort to host races Thanksgiving weekend 2017-2018
By Evan Johnson
Some of the best ski racers in the world will again be carving turns down Superstar at Killington Resort, Mike Solimano, resort president announced Monday, April 3. The FIS World Cup will return to Killington Resort over Thanksgiving weekend 2017, Nov. 24-26.
“We wanted to announce to the community first,” he said. “We’ll be getting the word out soon.”
Solimano made the announcement at a summer kick-off event at the Killington Grand Hotel on Monday evening. The news, which had been rumored in the previous weeks picking up credibility after the Aspen Daily News announced that Aspen would not host the race due to needed infrastructure improvements at the resort.
“Hosting the World Cup event last year was an amazing opportunity not just for Killington Resort but for the entire community and region,” said Tao Smith head of Killington Mountain School. “For our students at KMS the experience was especially inspiring and we supported the event in many ways… we hope to have that opportunity again!”
Confirmation of the news that the World Cup will indeed return to Killington elicited very positive reactions from the community members in the audience, with hoops and hollers and a long-lasting round of applause.
When the resort hosted the World Cup over Thanksgiving weekend last year, the event attracted 30,000 spectators—many times more than other early season races held worldwide. It marked a return of World Cup ski racing to New England after a 25-year hiatus and a return to Vermont after 38 years.
The event was also a huge boost for business and helped kick off the early season.
Now, Killington will be the host of the early season Thanksgiving races for the next two years
Killington’s World Cup races will be followed by races in Beaver Creek, Colo., not long after. Those two events are the only to take place in the U.S.A. next race season, according to Rob Megnin, director of marketing, sales and reservations for Killington and Pico.
“We’re working to make it the best we can,” Solimano said.
Solimano said the race raised the profile of skiing in the East and at Killington, but was an expensive endeavor. The resort and its parent company Powdr Corp have been working on ways to make the event more sustainable for the future. The race came to a net cost of $1.2 million, according to Solimano.
One of those ways is local support. On Town Meeting Day, Killington residents approved a town budget that included $100,000 to help cover hospitality costs associated with the race. Should the race not take place, it will remain in the town’s general fund.