Toronto-based Great Gulf is slated to develop Killington’s Six Peaks ski village, provided the Killington Forward Initiative bond is passed in 2023. With nearly 50 years in business, they specialize in developing, constructing and managing residential and commercial real estate.
Michael Sneyd, president of the North American Resort Residential division, describes the role of a developer as, “the real estate equivalent of a movie producer, or the conductor for an orchestra. We work with very, very talented people to come up with a vision and then implement it with the help of an expert team of professionals. And, that includes everybody from research to planning, design to branding, marketing and sales to public relations, operations, property management, financing, construction, and customer service.”
Sneyd added, “Throughout all of this, we work with the local community and local experts to make sure that this vision fits neatly within the vision and objectives for the community in which we work.”
Great Gulf has led successful large-scale projects in 18 cities across North America and developed over 80,000 residences, totaling 30 million square feet of commercial real estate. And, Great Gulf’s Ashton Woods Homes is the second largest privately held home builder in the U.S.
While this is Great Gulf’s first foray in Vermont, Sneyd has skied at Killington numerous times over the past 40 years. As a master racer, he reveres the mountain.
“I loved the mountain back in 1985 and still love it now. Killington is thought of as the place to go because, you know, it has just incredible scalable acreage. The big places to go in Canada are Tremblant, Mont-Sainte-Anne, and Le Massif. Killington is bigger than the three of them put together,” he said.
Professionally, Sneyd joined Great Gulf just this year, bringing decades of resort development experience to the table from his previous employers, Replay Destinations, among others.
Numerous Vermont vendors are already on board to help shape the project. For example, legal counsel is Gravel & Shea, pre-construction services are provided by PC Construction, and engineering services have been conducted by VHB.
“We’re working with a number of local real estate professionals who are giving us advice and counsel as we go forward. And certainly, the face of our sales program, when we go forward, will be a locally recognized and respected person,” he said.
Preliminary renderings, as pictured, were designed by Hart Howerton, out of their Boston architecture office.
Sneyd’s familiarity with Killington and understanding of resort design plays an instrumental role in the proposed framework of the village.
“One of the things we look at when we look at Killington is first, it’s the best ski-in ski-out opportunity in North America. So, what Hart Howerton did in the preliminary plans was to design a ‘ski beach’ that makes it possible to ski from one side of the village to the other, accessible at points throughout the village. The ‘ski beach’ will actually continue over the top of Killington Road, thanks to a bridge. So, gone will be the days when people have to take off their skis and walk underneath Killington Road to get between Snowshed and Ramshead. We want people to be able to directly enter their condominium, their single-family home, or their townhome from the ski hill, and be able to easily access it for hiking and biking in the summer, too.”
The design also includes street-level retail, restaurants, and services.
Residents and visitors might be interested to learn about parking plans. Sneyd says that current spaces that fall within the development area will be replaced adjacent to the village and down Killington Road. Great Gulf is working closely with the Resort to offer some innovative parking structures, and all the new condos will have underground parking.
If the project moves forward, residents can expect to see the town constructing the water system and early road improvements in 2023, the relocation of parking, stormwater management, and an upgrade to Killington Road in 2024.
Active marketing and pre-sale of properties will precede actual village construction starting in 2025.
Michael Sneyd and his colleagues will be representing Great Gulf at a booth at the upcoming World Cup vendor village and encourage residents to stop by, say hello, and ask any questions.