Only Eastern resort to make the list
KILLINGTON —In an article published July 20, the New York Post named Killington one of “Five ski towns that are worth visiting in summer,” alongside the Western resort towns of Park City (Utah), Vail (Colorado), Jackson Hole (Wyoming) and Big Sky (Montana).
Killington Town Manager Seth Webb said ,“The NY Post article is nice recognition of the story unfolding here: the story of the town and the resort working together to revive summer tourism.” Webb views the article as a testament to the vision of the residents, the hard work done by the Town and Killington Resort, and the focused strategic plan adopted by the Select Board.
In 2009, the summer economy in the town of Killington was struggling, with many businesses shuttering as soon as the ski season ended, and not re-opening until September. For the six years prior, and leading up to 2010, the town experienced a steady decline in tourism spending during the months of July, August, and September.
In 2010, things started to turn around. Beginning in 2010 a series of new events were established like the Killington Jr. Golf Championship, the Cooler in the Mountains Concert Series, the Killington Hay Festival, and the Spartan Race. Additionally, classic events like the Killington Stage Race that had disappeared a decade before, were re-established and revitalized. A marketing campaign targeted regional visitors and promoted summer activities. Each year, more businesses stayed open throughout the summer, and that positive trend continues now in the summer of 2015.
Webb attributes this significant shift in town in large part to the will and support of its residents. In the winter of 2008, the town held a series of community planning days with the Vermont Council on Rural Development. During that process over 250 residents came together and prioritized goals for economic development. As a result of the meetings, the town passed a 1 percent options tax to fund economic development and established an Economic Development and Tourism department.
The NY Post article sites the new adrenaline-pumping attractions at Killington Resort and the robust summer events calendar as key reasons for ranking Killington in the top five destinations. Among the new attractions highlighted are the 4,800-foot-long Beast Coaster, the Skyeride, and a four-story rope course, complete with 42 obstacles and a 5,000 square-foot maze. Also mentioned are many of Killington’s upcoming special events and activities.
A more comprehensive list of upcoming events can be found at discoverkillington.com.