By Katy Savage
With Killington Resort requiring guests to make advance parking reservations to ski and ride this winter, local condominiums and businesses within walking distance of the slopes are threatening to tow unwanted vehicles.
“We are very concerned about people trying to bypass the mountain and use our lot illegally,” said Howie Goldfarb, the operations manager at Still On the Mountain Killington Distillery.
The newly-opened distillery is located inside the Mountain Inn, at the base of the mountain.
“We are currently working up a formal plan to ensure hotel and distillery guests get our parking spots,” Goldfarb said.
Goldfarb said hotel guests will be assigned a parking area and will get a paper pass. He was unsure how distillery guests would be assigned parking.
“I am sure it will be a challenge on busy weekends,” Goldfarb said. “I certainly hope we don’t have to formally tow anyone.”
Killington Resort announced months before opening that parking reservations would be required, though the resort hasn’t released how many parking spaces will be allowed each day as capacity will be based on available terrain. The resort is using previous pass data to determine how many parking passes to give out.
The mountain opened for the season on Nov. 20, opening the parking reservation system only for the major parking lots, including Snowshed, Ramshead, K-1, Bear Mountain and Skyship. While there is plenty of mid-week availability, there were currently no more parking spots left for Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28, as of Tuesday.
Killington Resort Marketing and Communications Manager Courtney DiFiore said parking at condos or on the side of the road within walking or shuttle distance of the resort is prohibited and violators will be towed.
DiFiore said parking in other resort-owned lots, including the Killington Golf Course and Killington Grand Hotel, would be managed, but she didn’t have the details as to how.
Mountain Green, a condo resort at the base of Killington, expanded its parking last year and is also preparing for expected poachers.
“We are the largest parking lot closest to the mountain and we do anticipate people doing that,” Mountain Green Condo owner Kevin Dunn said.
Dunn said the condo association has implemented parking passes and will tow cars without passes.
“It’s been a much discussed issue,” said Dunn. “The biggest concern is people coming to the mountain not knowing they need a parking pass for that day and trying to sneak into one of our lots.”
Whiffletree Condos on East Mountain Road is also requiring permits this winter in anticipation of parking poachers.
Whiffletree has about 140 parking spots. Each condo owner has been given two parking passes.
Andrea Weymouth, a board member at the condo association, said 20 new “permit parking only” signs have also been purchased to educate visitors. Cars without permits will be towed.
“I feel like when ski season opens, the days are going to get full,” Weymouth said.
Resort guests can cancel a reservation 90 minutes before arrival and guests can make day-of parking reservations online as long as there’s availability.
There is no overnight parking at the resort this year and vehicles aren’t allowed in the lots until an hour prior to lifts opening. Vehicles have to vacate the lots by 5 p.m. each day.