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Interesting Killington press release...

Highway Star

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Oh, snap...

http://web.archive.org/web/19980131073320/www.killington.com/my_html/Fusionnewpress.html

1997

The Revolution is Here!

Killington: Revolution, Not Evolution.

Resort Officials Announce $50 Million Two Year Plan for Resort Development Including a Grand Hotel, the Connection Between Killington and Pico Mountain, Doubled Snowmaking Capacity, and a New Gondola

KILLINGTON, VT -- Killington Resort officials unveiled at a press conference on August 5, 1997 an extensive plan for resort development. The plan, expected to be completed over a two year span, includes a new Grand Hotel, the connection between Killington and Pico Mountain with two new lifts and 110 acres of terrain, doubled snowmaking capacity and a new gondola to Killington Peak.

"The two-year project is huge and will really turn Killington into a world-class destination resort," said Allen Wilson, managing director for Killington. "Last season we had a huge capital campaign with six new lifts, five new trails, a new 20,000 sq. ft. family center plus a whole new attitude. Over the next two years, the guest will see the revolutionary transformation of the East's largest ski resort to one of, and possibly, the largest ski resort in North America. Killington will be the ultimate mountain resort."

The company plans to invest more than $50 million over the next two years. The plan for development includes;

The new Killington Grand Hotel and Crown Club.

A new state-of-the-art gondola to Killington Peak.

Doubled snowmaking capacity with new water sources including a connection to Woodward Reservoir.

The connection of Killington with Pico Mountain for seven interconnected mountains of skiing and riding, two new lifts and 110 acres of new terrain.

Interconnect mid-mountain restaurant.

Major renovations to the Killington Peak restaurant including a new restaurant within the existing building.

Another 5,500 sq. ft. added to the 20,000 sq. ft. Rams Head Family Center.

A new pedestrian underpass from Rams Head to Snowshed.

A new pedestrian bridge from Skyeship Base Station across Route 4 to the parking lot.

Replacement lifts on the Superstar and Summit Express Quads.

Two new halfpipes, one with an inverted "V," a permanent BoarderCross, a lift-serviced snowboard park, and a mini-halfpipe and halfpipe learning area.

So why release all this information now?

"This project is so massive we'll be working on it 12 months a year for the next two years," said Wilson. "Most resorts do what they can in the summer, then develop a plan for the following year. But for Killington it's not just another lift here or a trail there. To accomplish our goals we have initiated a 24-month non-stop plan of development for the resort.

"Guests will be able to come up and watch the resort's additions being built including seeing trails cut this winter, which according to state officials, is the best time environmentally to cut trails. Skiing and riding is all about fun and excitement and we're putting it out there on the mountain."

Killington Grand Hotel and Crown Club

On July 1, 1997 Killington Resort broke ground for the new Killington Grand Hotel and Crown Club, the ultimate in slopeside living and the cornerstone to conference facilities in the state of Vermont. Costing approximately $20 million to build, The Grand Hotel and Crown Club will be a full-service hotel, providing a central location and village atmosphere at Killington.

The conference facilities within the hotel will be arranged to host company functions, conferences and trade shows. Two conference rooms, as well as two function rooms and two ballrooms provide the space needed for these types of functions. The Grand Ballroom seats 600. In addition, the Resort Center at Snowshed provides space for up to a 1,000 people in seven meeting, exhibit and banquet areas.

"The Killington Grand Hotel brings not only more options of where the guest can stay at the resort, but an entirely new conference facility, that combined with the facilities at Snowshed, will be one of the largest conference facilities in Vermont," said Allen Wilson, Killington's managing director. "This is just the start of things to come here at Killington. Combine the new conference facilities in the hotel with the conference, exhibit and banquet space in the Resort Center at Snowshed and you have a top quality facility. Working with the community and the state has been key to getting this project off the ground."

New Killington Peak Gondola

A new revolutionary gondola will be installed this season, with design mirroring that of the Skyeship, the world's fastest and first heated eight-passenger lift. The new K-1 Killington Peak Gondola's cabins will be intricately designed in colorful, custom-designed patterns, creating an art gallery in the sky.

The 2,000/hour capacity lift will travel to the top of 4,241-foot Killington Peak in just six minutes. The gondola replaces the existing Killington Double Chairlift, installed in 1975. A revolution in its time, the Killington chairlift is now considered slow, cold and is low in capacity.

The gondola will begin to the right of the Killington Base Lodge. The line will travel upward aligning to the right of Cascade ski trail and end at the peak, unloading approximately where the Killington Chair currently unloads. The resort expects to have the lift operational by Christmas of 1997. Opening Day plans are being revised to accommodate early season skiing and riding.

Operation Avalanche - Doubled Snowmaking Capacity

Operation Avalanche is ready to rumble. The most extensive snowmaking system in the East will double its snowmaking capacity thanks to new water supplies from nearby Woodward Reservoir. Last year, the state of Vermont and Killington Resort reached a landmark land exchange agreement which was signed by Governor Howard Dean May 7, 1997. The agreement states that Killington will exchange land owned above 2,500 feet, known as Parkers Gore, for land owned by the state below 2,500 feet. The elevation of the Killington Base Lodge is 2,500 feet. In addition, Killington will also have the ability to draw water from Woodward Reservoir for snowmaking use. By drawing water from the reservoir, existing water sources including Falls Brook and Roaring Brook, will be restored to the current conservation flow standards.

Phase I of Operation Avalanche begins this season at Killington with a significant increase of water withdrawal from the neighboring Ottauquechee River. During ideal snowmaking temperatures, Killington's snowmaking system will be able to run 40 percent more snowguns than they have in previous seasons. The resort will more than double its high elevation pumping capacity, allowing more snow on more high elevation trails quicker. New compressor units at Pico Mountain will be installed, as well as a new booster on Snowdon Mountain, which eventually will support snowmaking in the interconnect "basin" area.

Phase II allows Killington to utilize Woodward Reservoir for water withdrawal and Killington's snowmaking firepower. Combine the access to all this water with the current water resources and there will be significant improvements to Killington's snowmaking capacity. Killington will be able to double the number of trails on which it currently makes snow at one given time. During the perfect snowmaking scenarios, with cold temperatures, less air will be needed to produce the snow, however Killington will now have the water resources it needs.

The Marriage of the Century - The Connection of Killington and Pico

The dream is finally becoming a reality. In the next two years Killington hopes to install lifts and cut trails that will connect Pico Mountain, Killington's Seventh Heaven, with the remaining six interconnected mountains at Killington. Plans include two quad chair lifts, one of which will be a high-speed express quad. Approximately six trails will be cut, varying in ability levels. A mid-mountain restaurant on the knoll of the interconnect "basin" area will offer food and beverage. In all, 110 acres will be added to Killington's already expansive terrain. The connection will create a resort footprint of more than six miles, and from peak to peak, skiers and riders potentially could travel 11 miles, the shortest distance between the resort's outermost mountains.

Renovations to the Killington Peak Restaurant

New and improved facilities will be added to the Killington Peak restaurant as well for dining and homebase at the peak. The restaurant, which offers views from its deck of five states and Canada, will offer a peak dining experience to guests. There are also plans to offer night rides to the peak for fine dining and dancing.

Rams Head Family Center Addition

This season, an additional 5,500 sq. feet will be added to the existing 20,000 sq. ft. Rams Head Family Center. Last season the resort added 16,000 sq. ft. to the old Rams Head base lodge, creating a one-stop, convenient location for families to prepare for their day on the slopes. The center was so successful that additional space will be added this season and will include more space for children's programs, the food court and eating arena. The Killington Fun Center will also be located at Rams Head.

New Pedestrian Underpass From Snowshed Base Area to Rams Head

A new underpass from Snowshed to Rams Head will make it easy for guests to enjoy traveling back and forth from the base areas with ease and convenience. Guests can walk from the Snowshed Base Area directly to their cars at Rams Head. The underpass is 84 feet long and nine feet high.

Pedestrian Bridge at the Skyeship Base Station

Guests will be able to walk from their cars, and over Route 4 to the Skyeship Base Station with the addition of a new pedestrian bridge this season. Three years ago, when Killington built the Skyeship, the world's fastest and first heated eight-passenger lift, plans were made to include the bridge. Killington completed the work necessary for the Skyeship side of the bridge at that time. The bridge will be completed for this season crossing over Route 4. It will be approximately 16 feet above the road. The parking lot entrance includes a flight of stairs and on the Skyeship side is a flat walkway out to the loading area. The bridge is scheduled to be operational by mid-October.

New Superstar and Summit Express Quad Lifts

Killington will replace its Superstar and Summit Express Quad lifts this season with brand new Poma lifts. This includes new line equipment, grips and hangers on both lifts as well as tower work. Workers will reduce the cable elevation on the low elevation towers on the Superstar chair and the high elevation towers on the Summit chair as well. By doing this, both chairs will have an increased ability to operate during wind and weather situations.

On-Mountain Snowboarding Improvements

Killington continues its commitment to snowboarders with major investments on the mountain this season. A new halfpipe complex with a new regulation halfpipe and a beginner pipe will find their home at the base of Highline trail, in sight from the Killington Base Lodge. The two halfpipes will be connected to create an inverted "V." A permanent BoarderCross Course will allow skiers and riders to race against one another through banks, rolls and jumps on middle Dream Maker. The new 1,200-foot snowboard park on Upper Bunny Buster will be lift-serviced. A new regulation halfpipe and snowboard park will be added at Pico Mountain, both lift-serviced. A new state-of-the-art shaping implement will cut and groom the halfpipes and parks at Killington, allowing for the Pipe Dragon to maintain the facilities at Pico.

With the two year plan for development outlined below, there are some interesting comparisons;

Killington will have the largest lift system in North America with 35 lifts including 14 quads and 7 high-speed express quads, the most in the East. The lift system is able to transport guests quickly to the diverse network of trails on seven mountains. The system will be more than 20 miles in length . . . long enough to stretch across Long Island Sound from Bridgeport, Conn. to Port Jefferson on Long Island.

Killington will have a resort footprint stretching more than six miles - bigger than the core of Washington, D.C. from the southeast to the northeast border of the city, and wider than most Western counterparts.

The shortest skiing route from the base of Sunrise Mountain to the base of Pico Mountain is 11 miles. If a guest were to ski or ride the shortest distance from one end of the resort to the other it would be like skiing or riding almost the entire length of Manhattan, or from anywhere along Route 128 to Boston.

Killington will offer more terrain than most could ski in a week- more than 100+ miles, the distance from Philadelphia to New York City.

Killington Resort is a member of the American Skiing group of companies, which includes Mount Snow/Haystack and Sugarbush in Vermont, Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire, Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA in Maine, and The Canyons (formerly Wolf) in Utah. Killington's two year plan for development is contingent on receiving approved permits for the projects and on reaching financial thresholds in the company.

Rich in diversity and fun, Killington is the revolution in the ski and snowboard industry. The resort remains on the cutting edge of new developments, systems and technology. Constant focus on snow quality, value, high-speed lift systems, guest services, convenience and most importantly, fun, puts Killington in the driver's seat as a world-class destination. The resort, with its latest addition of Pico Mountain, now more than ever falls into step with world-class destinations, offering the complete essence of a holiday or vacation experience. More than 100 lodges and accommodations, plus over 60 restaurants and nightspots, off-slope activities, shopping and more round off the menu for the ultimate mountain adventure.

It's too bad ASC was in debt up thier eyeballs and couldn't pull all of this off....but they did more than half.

Powdr's investment plan looks pretty damn weak in comparison. ~$3.3 million in capital this past summer? Eat what you kill for this summer, to the tune of $6m, or $10m if we're lucky?

It's shocking how Killington's gone from an industry leader to a follower (far behind) in only 10 years.....with POWDR running the place, it's never going to catch up....
 
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danny p

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The Marriage of the Century - The Connection of Killington and Pico

certainly a wedding i would have liked to attend. I hope someday we gain all that terrain between the two, even if Pico gets crowded...
 

Phildozer

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It's shocking how Killington's gone from an industry leader to a follower (far behind) in only 10 years.....with POWDR running the place, it's never going to catch up....



Didn't they just spend a whole lot 'o money to purchase the place? Give them time. This year should be a good one for them financially. Let's see what they accomplish over the Summer before writing them off as failures.
 

drjeff

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Didn't they just spend a whole lot 'o money to purchase the place? Give them time. This year should be a good one for them financially. Let's see what they accomplish over the Summer before writing them off as failures.


Killington's sudden descision in the last roughly week to start mass radio advertising may just shed a little light on how "well" their marketing strategy is working with respect to the balance sheet
 

NJSkiBabe

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Interesting that they are advertising now after they told basically all of the ski clubs in the east that they didn't want them any more.

Killington 2008 - Don't Ski It!
 

Highway Star

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Killington's sudden descision in the last roughly week to start mass radio advertising may just shed a little light on how "well" their marketing strategy is working with respect to the balance sheet

It's been pretty slow at Killington this year, they certainly have wiped out the worst of the crowds. They may have overshot their mark.....

Snowmaking and conditions were awesome early season, but they have taken a pretty serious nosedive....not enough snowmaking or grooming in the recovery efforts as of late. Though you can find good spots, there lots of ice on most of the main trails....
 

drjeff

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Interesting that they are advertising now after they told basically all of the ski clubs in the east that they didn't want them any more.

Killington 2008 - Don't Ski It!

Might just be trying to build some buzz to hopefully cash in on the daytrip market during the up coming Presidents Week.

I wonder how many former regulars have seen that the proverbial "snow is whiter on the other side of the fence" and won't be coming back???
 

Highway Star

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Might just be trying to build some buzz to hopefully cash in on the daytrip market during the up coming Presidents Week.

I wonder how many former regulars have seen that the proverbial "snow is whiter on the other side of the fence" and won't be coming back???

Most of the core weekend crowd I know has returned for this year and is pretty happy with how it's been going...but the last few weeks have been medicore and people are starting to get ornery.

Most of the falloff this year has been in the casual ski share house people and daytrippers who previously bought passes. It's been a slow year for sharehouse rentals.....and not everyone who rents for the season buys a pass now - they by tickets and only ski if conditions are good.

The mountain is consistantly uncrowded especially on Fridays and Sundays. Some Saturdays have been somewhat crowded....I would guess that Saturday is the only signifigantly profitable day of the week for them.

Despite the decrease in crowds, the overall quality of the snow surface is roughly the same as previous years.....the difference is that these new guys groom much less than ASC because they are understaffed, which can be good on the expert when there is fresh snow and snowmaking, but bad when they need to recover from a thaw.
 
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Highway Star

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Good thread.

For summer '09, we haven't heard squat for POWDR as far as improvements. Just a bit of rumor about basic stuff to the tune of about $2m.
 
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heard a rumor kicking around the industry water cooler that SP Land may be looking to unload the big K...but the ski industry rumor mill is pretty fertile so I'd take it with a grain of salt.
 

jerryg

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heard a rumor kicking around the industry water cooler that SP Land may be looking to unload the big K...but the ski industry rumor mill is pretty fertile so I'd take it with a grain of salt.

Something tells me they'd be hard-pressed to find a buyer without taking a loss... Property value is obviously down a bit from what it was a couple years ago, but then again, perhaps that's why they would want to unload it. SP was just in it for the real estate. I think they'd be better off sticking out the recession and taking their chances then.
 

Newpylong

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What/where is the Summit Express Quad they speak of?

Boy things would be quite different today is the ASC didn't tank and this went through../.
 
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