By Brooke Geery
Editor’s note: This article was first published on Killington Resort’s “Insider Blog,” Feb. 22. Minor corrections have been made for accuracy and clarity.
The vision of a village at the base of Killington Resort predates most of the current locals. But as the resort has grown and changed over the years — adding lifts, trails, base lodges and more amenities — a village similar to those found at many other world-class resorts has long eluded Killington. Now, however, thanks to Tax Incremental Financing (TIF), federal grant funding and a strong partnership with international developer Great Gulf, the project is the closest it’s ever been to reality.
The new Six Peaks Village will not only expand luxury slope-side accommodations at Killington Resort. It will also add new lifts and trails including a “ski beach,” upgraded base lodges, revamped and expanded parking, and a plethora of family-focused activities and amenities beyond skiing and riding. The project is being completed in cooperation with the town of Killington, which is focused on a major development of its own to build as many as 300 units of affordable workforce housing.
One of the main reasons the village has taken so long to come to fruition is a startling lack of infrastructure in the Killington region. Many homes and businesses have long struggled with a lack of potable drinking water, but thanks to a $47 million TIF bond, that problem may soon be solved. This funding goes to a vote on Town Meeting Day, March 7, 2023, and if passed, will break ground this summer.
With water woes eliminated, another challenge for Killington Resort was finding the right developer to tackle this long-term project. Great Gulf is that partner. The Toronto-based builder has been cranking out everything from 80-story skyscrapers to ski villages such as the one at Blue Mountain in Ontario since 1975. It has a proven track record of quality, attention to detail and project completion. Perhaps more importantly, President of Resort Residential Michael Sneyd, who will be overseeing the Six Peaks project, is an avid skier. He was a master ski racer and spent years as a ski instructor at Fortress Mountain in Calgary before a development job opportunity brought him back to Ontario. Living there, Killington became his home mountain.
“I spend every moment I can thinking about skiing,” he said, recounting his relationship with the Killington area. “I stayed at Sunrise when it was first built, I’ve stayed at Trailside and up and down Killington Road. I love Killington, it feels like home for me.”
Development of the Six Peaks Village
A project of this magnitude will not happen overnight. The village will be under construction for years to come, with a goal of adding 100 new buildings over the next 10-20 years. All projects will be staggered as to not affect operations at Killington Resort.
Major infrastructure changes required include moving the existing Killington Road and remapping the intersection with East Mountain Road as a roundabout, allowing village access, before continuing up the mountain to K-1 and Vale. Those upper areas will remain unchanged while the lower buildings are built and only see improvements once the lower projects are completed.
Once infrastructure is in place, the first building phase will be the replacement of the Ramshead Lodge, followed by the Snowshed Lodge. The current Killington access road will be depressed, allowing guests to ski across the “beach” between the two lodges. They will also be connected by an inside walking bridge.
The new buildings [in the village] will also house condominiums and each unit created will have more than one designated underground parking spot. This will accommodate owners and overnight guests, freeing up parking for the day skiers. For each spot taken away by the new village, a new stall will be added just to the north on the access road. These new lots will allow for easy access and take advantage of the sophisticated shuttle systems Killington Resort has developed through years and used when hosting the Killington Cup and other major events.
“These two new lodges will be as equal a splash as the new K-1,” Sneyd said. “Our commitment to the day skier is that the experience will be maintained in the future. Our engineers are clever and understand the ski area has to continue operating without any interruptions. We’re involving all the best minds in figuring out the best way to schedule it.”
Of course, the new Six Peaks Village will be for more than just skiers. Great Gulf aims to build on Killington’s summer success and create a true year-round destination with the potential to grow visitation during the warmer months to the same levels seen in the winter. That means the new village will include things such as family-oriented biking trails running through the village and around the Killington golf course. Between the lodges will be a village green in the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter and will offer space for events and live music. There will also be additional entertainment venues, such as a water park.
“Our goal to make gathering places. It isn’t just a village for people driving in and parking underground, it becomes a village for the entire community — a cool place to come and just hang out,” Sneyd said.
Of course, a luxury village cannot function without people to operate all the aforementioned amenities. Many new jobs will be created, and it’s no secret the Killington region is currently lacking in affordable workforce housing. So, the village project is happening in conjunction with another development made possible by the town of Killington itself.
The town has already invested some $100,000 [with the option to] purchase 70 acres just off the Access Road for potential development of 250-300 units zoned for workforce housing. These multi-family and single-family dwellings will all be serviced from the municipal water system, which will begin upon the successful passage of Article 5 on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday March 7.
The Killington Selectboard will work directly with a third party organization (like the Housing Trust of Rutland County) to ensure these new units can never become short-term rentals — there will be federally mandated restrictions in place to ensure salary qualifications are met for all units.
The town has also applied for a RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grant through the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to help perform necessary upgrades to Killington Road including adding sidewalks and lengthening and leveling out the landing pad at the intersection with Route 4. When completed, many of the current issues faced in the area should be resolved.
Killington Resort and the town of Killington are proud to be working in unison to see this project become a reality and improve the area for current residents and visitors as well as those visiting in the future. As such, everyone involved in this project, including Killington President and General Manager Mike Solimano, encourages all registered voters in the town of Killington to go to the polls on March 7, 2023.
“The vote has to go through for this to happen or it will be tabled for another 30 years,” Solimano said. “If the vote is yes, new parking lots will start being built as soon as this summer.”
For more info visit: livekillington.com.