On December 29, 2021

Ambassadors sport new uniforms


Editor’s note: Karen D. Lorentz is an ambassador herself at Killington Resort. This is her first year with the program.

Regular visitors to Killington may spy something new on the green-jacketed Killington Ambassadors this year.

The new Mammut uniforms include shell jackets with the familiar “i” on the back, but the new word “Host” beneath it is a change from the prior “Ambassador” tagline.

Ryan Hurst, a Castleton Univ. student in the Resort and Hospitality Management program, is the Killington Ambassador program coordinator for 2021-22 season.

However, both terms continue to be used to describe the dedicated volunteers who welcome guests to their mountain home. Like a good host, the ambassadors want guests to have a good time so they aim to be helpful from arrivals to departures.

This year that helpfulness will include some services that couldn’t be offered last season when Covid protocols precluded them.

This season ambassadors will once again give free daily Meet the Mountains Tours, offer tips on events, take photos for people (so the would-be photographer can be in the picture with family or friends), greet bus groups as well as guests at the Grand Hotel, and assist at events, all of which went by the boards due to state Covid-19 related guidelines last year.

Another fun tradition for mountain ambassadors is participating in the torchlight parade scheduled for Snowshed on New Year’s Eve.

A host of services

The volunteers in the bright green jackets enjoy being helpful in a variety of ways. They answer questions as they greet people mornings at the base areas. Simple things like assisting at the kiosks for those needing to get their prepaid reloadable One Pass cards can help get someone’s day off to a good start. So can holding a door open or providing a map for a first-time guest or letting them know the name of the base area so they can return to the right place at the end of the day.

In addition to answering any questions guests may have, they are a huge help with “way finding.” Killington is a large ski area with several base areas and mountain peaks, so finding one’s way around the areas can be a challenge. Ambassadors have assigned skiing areas and often save the day by showing guests how to get where they want to go — or in some cases, avoid a too difficult (or too flat) a trail. Stationed at various intersections where trails lead to different base areas, ambassadors also help people find their way at the end of the day.

They also help reunite parties that get separated, call in ski patrol when needed, and assist at the World Cup. With two-way radios they are in touch with what’s happening around the mountain and can update guests on things like lift holds or let you know that, yes, the Stash is now open.

They do all these tasks in all kinds of weather, including extreme cold, wind, snow, and rain.

The daily mountain tours also help with way finding and are very informative, including a little history along with fun facts — highly recommended for intermediate and advanced levels of skiers/riders.

Have the right stuff

Dedicated ambassadors put in long days, starting with the annual update meeting in October and continuing throughout the season with their minimum of 21 days of service. (First-time ambassadors also attend two training days.) All attend daily morning briefings (7 a.m. weekends/holidays; 8 a.m. midweek), get their assignments, head out to work and ski, and check in to sign out at the end of the day which can be 4:30 or later. While a season pass is awarded to the volunteers, they do it for: the joy it brings them to share their love of skiing or riding at Killington; a sincere desire to help a guest enjoy their day; and the camaraderie of being part of a like-minded group of good people.

Interested people who think they have “the right stuff” to meet the high standards of a dedicated ambassador/host can contact Duffy at pduffy@killington.com.

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