On July 12, 2018

Bear enters Northstar Lodge

By Polly Lynn Mikula

KILLINGTON—Tuesday afternoon, July 10, was unusually exciting at the Northstar Lodge in Killington. Becky Piteau is used to welcoming new guests to the lodge, but never did she expect to see a black bear wander through the front doors. But that’s exactly what happened at 2:30 p.m.

“We had the doors open because it was hot in here and the bear just walked in,” she explained, calling the event exciting. She said the bear sat down in the lobby for a few moments before wandering down a hallway, then came back to the lobby and left the same way it came in.

Owner Dean Romano confirmed the account, adding, “I’ve had chipmunks wander in and through my office when we leave the door open, but that’s about it.”

Romano posted photos and a video of the incident on Facebook. In the video, the bear looks on the smaller side. It captures it wandering back down the hallway to the lobby. The bear walks like a casual visitor, aware and sure-footed but not seeming alarmed by the new setting, though it does get a bit startled at the end and picks up its gait.

“It was oblivious to me and anyone else,” Romano recounted. “It didn’t seem to care
that we were there.”

Romano said they’ve had a bear reach over the pool yard fence to get the trash, but noted that those sorts of bear complaints are fairly common. “It’s Vermont, after all!”

This, however, was different.

“This was quite brazen and it is an obvious safety concern,” said Romano, who called Abigail Serra, the local game warden, and then 9-1-1 when she wasn’t available. Officer Hoffman from Killington Police responded to that call, but the bear had left by then, he said.

Serra requested a copy of the video and will follow up on the incident when she’s back in town, Romano said.

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