Killington Resort’s summer investment tops $4 million in two years
By Polly Lynn
KILLINGTON — Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, with the longest season (hopefully spanning through Memorial Day weekend this year, weather permitting), is now also aiming to become the “mountain biking capital of New England,” as Tracy Taylor, director of operations for Pico Mountain, first noted last fall at the KPAA Annual Meeting and Killington Resort Business Update. Summer operations at the resort have seen a major investment of over $4 million in the last two years.
This Memorial Day holiday weekend, the resort plans to be open for skiing, mountain biking, playing golf or taking a ride on the Mountain Coater or Skyride.
Friday, May 27, will be the 187th day of lift-serve skiing and riding at Killington resort this season — an impressive number, given that the area only received 81 inches of total snowfall this year, according to the resorts condition report, compared to the average of 250 inches. Last year, the resort operated for 192 days.
The summer sports season kicks off this Memorial Day Weekend with the Killington Golf Course opening to Golf Season Pass holders on Friday, May 27, and to the public the following day. The Beast Mountain Coaster and Skyeride, plus Killington Mountain Bike Park trails in the Snowshed area, will also open on Saturday, May, 28.
The Snowshed Express Quad will serve hikers and mountain bikers on weekends and holidays until daily lift operations commence on June 18.
Last summer the resort invested $3.5 million in the Beast Mountain Coaster, Skyeride and a huge beginner/intermediate mountain bike expansion to Killington. This summer, the resort is spending an additional $850,000 and will debut dual ziplines, six more Gravity Logic-designed mountain bike trails, summer tubing lanes, a 40-foot tower jump, food and beverage facility upgrades, kids’ camps and a new fleet of rental mountain bikes for riders of all ages.
“With momentum from last summer’s growth we are adding more options for thrill seekers plus activities specifically designed to keep young kids engaged all day, and of course continuing to build out our trail network, moving Killington closer to being the premier mountain bike destination in Eastern North America,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “To sustainably grow our summer business every year, we are bringing more and new visitors to the area and giving them reasons to extend their vacation stays during the summer and fall, which benefits the entire Killington region.”
Additional lift service for mountain biking via the Ramshead Express Quad chairlift will begin in late July as the first new downhill mountain bike trail in that area opens for USA Cycling’s Beast of the East Pro GRT (July 28-31).
Phase three of the five-year Killington Bike Park build-out designed by Gravity Logic calls for a $375,000 investment for six new trails served by the Ramshead Express Quad, opening throughout the summer, including a 1.31 mile downhill race trail, 2.15 mile expert jump trail, 2.29 miles of single track from the top of Ramshead to K-1 and Ramshead base areas, pump track, skills park, kids’ strider bike park and designated uphill mountain bike route.
The resort will now offer riders three lifts, 27 miles, 35 trails, and a 1,972 vertical drop.
Events and entertainment
Signature events for the summer season include the Cooler in the Mountains Concert Series featuring eight free live musical performances on Saturdays from July 16 through Labor Day Weekend, the Dirty Girl Mud Run on July 9, Killington Wine Festival July 15-17, Killington Boot Camp’s Race to the Peak on Aug. 20, Spartan Race Sept. 19-20, Killington Brewfest on Oct. 1, and Killington Oktoberfest Oct. 8-9.