State News

Solimano honored with industry leadership award

Killington and Pico Resort Partners President and General Manager Mike Solimano has been named a recipient of the 2023 Sammy Leadership award, according to an April 10 news release. The 25th annual award honors innovative, inspiring, courageous, and passionate industry leaders making a difference locally and nationally. Recipients are determined based on nominations by members of the ski and snowboard industry, including many members of the Killington team, who shared their thoughts.  

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by Ski Area Management (SAM) with this award,” Solimano said. “The fact that I was nominated by the team here at Killington and Pico makes it even more prestigious and I’d also like to thank the entire management team at POWDR for believing in our vision and allowing Killington and Pico to grow in the right direction.”

Some of the attributes that earned Solimano the award included his openness to listening to feedback and enacting real change to improve the experience of working at and visiting The Beast. He is also no stranger to working on the front lines of the resort — often found boot fitting, bussing tables or driving a shuttle bus.

“Mike’s da bomb! Killington is a BEAST, in more ways than one and he navigates it well—there are few in the business who could do that with his even-tempered and methodical approach,” said one team member. 

He’s been instrumental in Killington Resort’s year-round growth and was the first to propose the Beast 365 pass, which gives guests the option to pay monthly for yearround access to skiing and riding, mountain biking, golf and adventure center attractions.  

“Congratulations to Mike Solimano for being recognized for this well-deserved award,” said CEO of Powdr Justin Sibley. “As the teams at Killington and Pico know well, he exemplifies the traits and qualities of a great leader day in and day out. All of us at Powdr know it to be true, as well, and are honored to call him a colleague and friend. No doubt Killington’s best days are ahead with Solimano at the wheel.”

Solimano’s career began at Deloitte, where he advanced to become an audit manager before leaving to pursue his passion for the ski industry. He served as vice president of finance and operations for Dynastar North America before joining Killington/Pico in 2001 as vice president of finance. 

As president and GM for the past 10 years, Solimano oversees all operational aspects and provides strategic direction for the business. His dedication to improving the culture of the resort and placing a strong focus on guest satisfaction has resulted in increased staff retention rates and continued improvement in net promotor scores. 

He is deeply committed to the ski industry, serving on the board of directors for Killington Mountain School, Ski Vermont, and the National Ski Areas Association. He also actively participates in the community, serving as a board member for the Vermont Electric Power Company and previously as chair of the board for Rutland Regional Medical Center. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports and lives in Rutland with his wife and three children.

His nominators laude the way he has changed the Killington culture for the better via strong communication and transparency.

Solimano was one of four individuals across North America recognized with 2023 SAMMY Leadership Awards. The other honorees are: Preston Cline, for his safety advocacy at Snowshoe, W.Va.; Nadia Pepin, for being a champion of community run ski areas, CEO, Mont Gleason, Quebec; and Stacey Timmons Ehleringer, a promoter of people at her resort and community, at Sun Valley, Idaho.

All demonstrate the innovative thinking, collaborative spirit, and transparent leadership needed to guide our industry through its next evolution, SAM stated in its news release. 

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