The AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge was designed to provide a method for our forum members to get official answers to skiing-related questions directly from a ski area representative. Tom Horrocks, Communications Manager of Killington Resort in Killington, Vermont, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 5/18/2005
Bob R: I have heard grumblings of a later season opening and earlier season closing than what is normal for Killington. Are these rumors true? I am concerned because I have already bought my ASC pass for next season and early and late season skiing were major factors in my purchasing this pass again. Curious to know: what is real and what is rumor?
Tom Horrocks: Bob, We will continue to stick with an early-mid November opening and mid-May closing next year. However, it is all dependant upon the weather!
BeanoNYC: If the rumors of a shortened season are true, will refunds be available to those who purchased a 2005-06 ticket? Many of us went with ASC season passes because of the extended season.
Tom Horrocks: We strive to provide a quality product from our early-mid-November opening through our mid-May closing. With that in mind, the value provided for a $349 All For One Pass surpasses anything the industry currently offers.
thetrailboss: How has the discounted “All for One Pass” impacted Killington? Although Killington has a reputation for lots of skiers and riders, did you find this season that there were times when there were too many folks on the slopes? Did the lift infrastructure and snow conditions sustain such increased volume if there was any?
Tom Horrocks: One thing the All For One Pass did for us this season was spread out the skiers numbers over the weekdays. Although weekends were still pretty busy, the weekdays saw an increase in visits. With 33 lifts and 200 trails, crowding wasn’t much of a problem this year. However, we still face a few crowding issues at key base areas and key lifts during busy times. This past season we staggered a few lift opening to disseminate the crowds more evenly and we will continue to improve upon this for next season.
tree_skier: Any plans for a high speed lift for Snowdon Peak?
Tom Horrocks: Unfortunately, not at this time. But rest assured, since that is the closest lift to my office, I’m on your side there!
dmc: Now that you have had a season with the park located at Bear Mountain, along with the regular traffic from Outer Limits and Devil’s Fiddle, are the parks going to be moved to a less disruptive location?
Tom Horrocks: Yes, and no! We will continue to improve upon the parks at Bear Mountain with a few adjustments. It looks like the Viper’s Pit Big Air Jump will move to a different location, as well as a few changes to the upper park moving to Upper Wildfire from Bear Trap. However, Lower Wildfire, the Superpipe and Skier/Boarder cross course will remain in the same locations. We are also investigating the permanent addition of rails and boxes on Lower Outer Limits in front of the Bear Mountain Lodge Deck.
Geoff: Here’s a question from a 25-year Killington pass holder and property owner: How are Killington management and their real estate development partner planning to cope with the conflict of taking the resort downmarket with hordes of people on discounted season passes and an objective of building a large base village full of condos that are intended to be sold to a clientele who will have no tolerance for all of the weekend congestion?
Tom Horrocks: Geoff, great question and one that faces not only Killington, but the entire resort industry! We are still in the process of preliminary planning and development, so at this time I don’t have an answer. But, get back to me later this summer and we will have a better idea on how to proceed. However, we do know that the All For One Pass greatly improved business levels in the Killington Region this past year. So if that is any indication, folks will be excited that new development will bring more business into the area.
ga2ski: What was the reasoning behind changing the names of some of the lifts and trails, such Glades Triple to North Ridge, and whatever Reason used to be called? Did the mountain see the results they expected?
Tom Horrocks: The reasoning was to improve the communication of trail names to the public and within the company. You wouldn’t believe how many names some of the trails around here have. The new trail names were the first toward getting everyone on the same page.
andyzee: Here’s an age old question for you, actually two parts. Do you plan to sell off Pico? If not, any further developments with the longly awaited Pico interconnect?
Tom Horrocks: No, we don’t plan to sell off Pico. Yes, there are still plans to connect Killington and Pico. However, we are taking it one step at a time and that first step is improving upon the service and quality of skiing at both areas.
ALLSKIING: Any plans in the future to renovate any of the Base Lodges?
Tom Horrocks: Yes, We did a lot of work on Snowshed last summer and Ramshead a few years back when the high-speed chair was installed. We are looking at a renovation of the K-1 Lodge in the coming years.
snowspritect: Were there more injuries at Killington this season? I have heard a lot of complaints about increased weekend crowds (though I myself didn’t necessarily perceive that) and more “skier aggression” incidents (that I did perceive). I’m curious if you noticed more injuries and/or complaints about people not following “the skier’s responsibility code.”
Tom Horrocks: Does everyone know what the Skiers (boarders) Responsibility Code is? I have yet to dive into all the season-ending stats, but preliminary numbers suggest there was not an increase in incidents on the mountain this season.