As I sit here in the old Bill’s Country Story writing this, I look back on the past year and couldn’t be more pleased with all that we’ve accomplished: we moved the Chamber offices and converted Bill’s Country Store to a Welcome Center. We increased visits to the Welcome Center from 4,500 to 10,000 per year. In partnership with the town of Killington, we constructed a park and ride facility and helped improve the sense of arrival to Killington. Working with Killington Resort, we transitioned the Chamber into the Killington Pico Area Association, and increased revenues to make us a more viable, sustainable, strategic driver of marketing and special events.
I’d like to acknowledge the Chamber Board, the owners of Bill’s LLC, the Chamber staff, the Resort and the town who have played key role in these achievements. Special thanks to Mike Solimano, Tracy Taylor, Amy Morrison, and Seth Webb who were particularly helpful in the transition of the Chamber to the KPAA.
From Jan. 6 moving forward, our organization is now known as the Killington Pico Area Association (KPAA). The KPAA is a reinvigorated Chamber with a broader scope and increased revenues. Its focus is on enhancing the development of a year round tourism economy in the Killington Region. With participation from the Resort and town, the KPAA will fulfill the role that the EDTC (related to marketing and events), the Chamber Board, and Town and Mountain Partnership Committee have done separately in the past. The organization will be funded by:
Regional Business membership dues supported by an expanded Merchant Pass program to include the Vermont/New Hampshire Region and an enhanced membership benefit program;
Event, sponsorship and private donations;
An annual Resort membership contribution.
Through the ongoing collaboration with the Resort and the town, we have already made significant progress toward realizing our goal. Progress to date includes:
Adopting new organizational bylaws for the KPAA on Jan. 6, 2015;
Welcoming Mike Solimano and Tracy Taylor to the Executive Committee of the KPAA;
Significantly increasing our membership base with the Regional Merchant Pass Program;
Beginning a new Strategic Plan which will focus on advancing the Region’s economy, enhancing members’ success, and ensuring organizational sustainability.
I am honored to be a part of this organization and am excited to begin this new chapter. Together, we can meet the goals of our community and continue to develop the year round tourism economy of Killington.
Howard Smith, President of the Killington Pico Area Association