Killington Unveils $5.3 Million In Improvements, Programs, Environmental Initiatives

By AlpineZone News |
Oct 22 2007 - 10:38 AM

KILLINGTON, Vermont — Killington Resort enters the 2007-08 ski and snowboard season with more than $5.3 million in resort improvements and new programs to enhance the overall guest experience. In addition, Killington is implementing new environmental initiatives in an effort to reduce the resort’s overall carbon footprint.

“This will be our first season as a new company and we’re focusing on improving our overall product and the guest experience. And that means focusing on every detail from snowmaking and grooming, to our ski and snowboard school programs, to food and beverage quality and value,” said Chris Nyberg, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain president and general manager. “Moving forward our mission is to exceed customer expectations, be innovative, profitable and environmentally responsible.”

Leading the list of improvements include upgrades to the world’s most extensive snowmaking system; remodeled Long Trail Pub at the Snowshed Lodge; a fresh look for select lifts and lodges with new paint, furnishings and carpet; $2 million in upgrades to the Killington Grand Resort Hotel and Spa; new kid’s Ski and Snowboard School programs; new Burton Learn to Ride program and two new lift access products, the Killington Countdown Card and the Killington/Pico Express Card.

“Guests will notice a difference in the overall look and feel of the resort this season,” Nyberg added.

From new awnings over the Magic Carpets at the Ramshead Family Center, to new loading and unloading decks and lift house refurbishments, freshly painted lifts, new lift information signs, and new Cooper’s Coffee outlets serving Starbucks products at K-1, Snowshed, Bear Mountain and Ramshead Lodges, guests will enjoy many changes throughout the resort this season.

Less energy and improved snowmaking firepower

Killington continues to improve snowmaking operations and lower its overall carbon footprint by increasing its Low Energy snow gun arsenal another 10 percent for the 2007-08 season. Additional electric outlets have also been installed on-mountain for increased use of energy-efficient fan guns throughout base and hi-traffic areas. The increased use of Low Energy snow guns has reduced Killington’s diesel consumption by more than 30 percent and electricity by 25 percent over the past three years.

The additional Low Energy snow guns will be installed on the upper sections of Killington Peak, where these technologically-advanced guns offer the most operational efficiency -especially during the early season – by producing the same amount of snow as conventional guns while utilizing up to 75 percent less energy. Additional snowmaking upgrades include rebuilt pump houses, hydrants, pipe replacement and computer hardware and software upgrades to snowmaking control to improve overall system efficiency. Combined with a fleet of 20 state-of-the-art snowcats, which have been completely refurbished including tillers and tracks, Killington will again offer guests a high quality snow surface with more snowmaking coverage and groomed terrain that any other resort in the east.

To improve access and flow from Lower Ovation and Flume to the Superstar Express Quad, the water slide adjacent to the Superstar Trail was removed over the summer. In addition, the former ice skating rink in front of the K-1 Lodge was removed to improve flow around the K-1 Lodge and access to the K-1 Gondola and Superstar Express Quad. Other improvements include increased trail mowing, clearing and vegetation cutbacks on more than 600 acres of terrain.

The remodeled Long Trail Pub at the Snowshed Lodge features new furnishings, food and beverage menu items, flat panel TVs and live apres entertainment Monday through Saturday. Other improvements include new carpet and paint throughout the Snowshed Lodge; new cafeteria furnishings and remodeled restroom facilities at the Ramshead Lodge. Lifts receiving a fresh look for the season include the Snowdon, Canyon and Northbrook Quads, Needle’s Eye and Superstar Express chairs, Southridge Triple and K-1 Gondola. New webcams at Bear Mountain and Pico Mountain will allow on-line users a fresh look at real-time conditions.

Owner improvements to Killington Grand Resort Hotel and Spa

The Killington Grand Resort Hotel and Spa has recently undergone a $2 million renovation, including newly-renovated guest rooms with new carpet, trim, furnishings and paint. These improvements complement the full-service spa opened during the summer of 2006. The Grand Hotel also features new carpet throughout the lobby, hallways and Grand Ballroom. Guests will also notice a new ski and snowboard check room and newly remodeled locker rooms in the health club.

Max 3/Max 5 and Burton Learn to Ride

This season, Killington provides skiers and snowboarders industry-leading learning opportunities that focus on innovative and cutting-edge teaching techniques with new Max 3 and Max 5 children’s programs and the Burton Learn to Ride program. These new programs will provide participants with an opportunity to learn and improve their skills as they explore Killington’s expansive terrain.

“In the tradition of Killington’s heritage as an innovator in ski and snowboard school teaching technique, we will deliver an entirely new children’s program experience with the new Max 3/Max 5 programs,” said Joe Wood director of the Killington Ski and Snowboard School. “By guaranteeing a maximum of three or five students per instructor, combined with the experience of our teaching professionals, Max 3/Max 5 will increase the overall value of our children’s programs in both the enjoyment they have on the slopes and the quality of the learning experience.”

With Killington’s new partnership with Burton Snowboards, Killington will offer a Burton Learn to Ride program for the upcoming season for new riders ages 13 and older. Burton Learn to Ride incorporates the right Burton equipment with proven teaching methods and small class sizes to make learning to snowboard easy and fun for those trying the sport for the first time. The goal of the Burton Learn to Ride program is for participants to link turns after only one lesson.

New Ticket Card Programs

The new Killington/Pico Express Card offers skiers and riders opportunities to save up to $20 per day throughout the season. The Killington/Pico Express Card provides “pay-as-you-go” flexibility and the convenience of skipping the ticket windows and going directly to the lift. The Express Card is valid at both Killington Resort and Pico Mountain.

The Killington Countdown Card, offered in pre-paid six and 10-day increments, offers guests savings up to 20 percent throughout the season over regular window ticket prices. The non-transferable Countdown Card works by presenting the card and a photo ID at any Killington ticket window. Skiers will then be issued a ticket for the day and the visit will be deducted from the card’s balance. Also, the dollar-value of any unused days at the end of the season may be applied to the purchase of next year’s Countdown Card.

Environmental initiatives

As a company, Killington has a renewed commitment to environmental responsibility for the 2007-08 season and beyond. In addition to new Low Energy Snowguns, Killington is investing more than $100,000 into the following initiatives:

  • Co-mingle recycling program throughout all our facilities, including all six base area lodges
  • New “Free Aire” refrigeration energy saving project on 10 of our 18 walk-in coolers and freezers that will save a combined 86,389 kilowatt hours of electricity consumption and 31 tons of CO2 emissions per year
  • Environmental assessment of Killington’s overall carbon footprint to establish priorities for future energy conservation and CO2 emission reduction projects.

About Killington Resort – The largest ski and snowboard resort in eastern North America, Killington features diverse terrain, an expansive lift network, the most extensive snowmaking system in the world and numerous off-mountain activities, including apres, dining, shopping and lodging options.