By Karen D. Lorentz
When you look up into the heavens on a clear winter night, the twinkling of thousands of stars light up the sky in a way that can be described as awesome and magical.
Appreciation for those many stars may be overshadowed by the occasional sight of a shooting star or the search for one of the famous constellations or a planet like Jupiter, Saturn, Mars or Venus.
Yet, the magic of the night sky would hardly shine through without those glittering thousands.
It can be like that for places that employ hundreds of people. Just as the longer you look at the night sky the more you see, the closer you look at a ski area — slow down and observe — the more you can notice and appreciate the many behind-the-mountain workers who make the magic of Killington and Pico happen.
Beast Week recognition
The significance of worker contributions was aptly summed up in a thank you note that Mike Solimano, Killington and Pico president/general manager, shared with all staff at the start of Beast Week, Monday, Feb. 7: “The people who work at The Beast are the reason we’re able to go big with the longest season, the most terrain, and the best skiing and riding in the East. Without team Killington/Pico, the lifts would not turn, the burgers would not sizzle, the lots would not get plowed, the snow guns would not fire, and so many guests would not come back for the 100-plus days [program] every season,” Solimano said.
Beast Week is a weeklong celebration of “the people behind the mountain” — the hundreds of workers and volunteers who make the magic happen at Killington and Pico.
Held Monday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 13, each day features special thank yous “in the form of giveaways, goodie bags, food, raffles, prizes, contests to win Nokian tires and fun activities like Spirit Day (dress up or decorate work space with raffle to win skis or a snowboard). Additionally, discounts were offered to staff by eight local stores and restaurants.
Beast Week also features a Wellness Challenge with participants receiving water bottles and entering a raffle for one of two $100 Visa gift cards.
“The overall wellbeing of our team is important to us,” said Benefits Coordinator Megan Canty of incorporating the simple daily activities people could choose.
The week also features nominations for the Powdr Passport Program winner, who receives a $500 check for demonstrating one or more of Powdr’s core values of enduring, entrepreneurial, responsible, soulful, and teamwork traits.
This is Killington and Pico’s second year hosting Beast Week.
“Killington/Pico wanted to extend a week full of ‘thanks’ to our entire team. With Covid we didn’t have the opportunity to hold monthly team parties so we stepped back and thought this would be a great way of really showing our team how vital they are to our operations and the impact they have on our guests’ experience,” Canty said.
New Motivosity program
Motivosity is a new staff recognition platform that utilizes a peer-to-peer employee app.
Those who post on Motivosity during Beast Week are also entered into raffles for prizes.
“We introduced this new recognition platform in October 2021,” Canty noted. “It allows our entire team to give immediate thanks and show recognition in a fun and interactive way. This allows our team to share individual and team highlights, letting others know about recent accomplishments. We work in a fast-paced industry, which makes it difficult to share recognition and appreciation for those around us using paper forms. Motivosity gives us the opportunity to give thanks publicly to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.”
All workers and volunteers receive an invite to post on Motivosity. Examples of these postings were shared with the Mountain Times and indicate how people appreciate their peers.
Recognized by Karli W. on Feb. 3: “Shout out to Rohan and Richard at the Northridge chair yesterday! They were both so enthusiastic and fun, they put a smile on my face as well as others on the lift! It was a very memorable and joyful experience for sure.”
Recognized by Johnathan Greene on Feb. 1: “Jesse! Co-chiefing Pico with you these past few weeks has been a pleasure. Thanks for maintaining a level of drive and determination in order to get Pico 100% open this month. I appreciate the teamwork we have had and can’t thank you enough for the effective planning and communication. I feel I’ve gained a lot from this experience working Pico together, and I thank you for your patience and guidance as I continue to grow as a Hillchief!”
Recognized by Dan Probst on Jan. 31: “Mike B. Thanks for helping out Pico Tickets yesterday when we were down a person. You got your groups set up for us and also helped with the crowd we had. I appreciate your willingness to help the staff and guests to have a great day.”
Recognized by Linda Corliss on Jan. 21: “Lindsay S., Thank you for all your great customer service this weekend! You help Ramshead rock in the tickets department.”
The recognition shared by peers is interesting for insights into how guests come to experience the “mountain magic” that often makes someone’s day at Killington or Pico. There are many stars behind that day!