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Pico receives approval to connect into Killington water source

jaytrem

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Oh Mr. Cummings got his inheritance from Daddy Cummings. But he still does not have a lot of good business-sense. Money doesn't buy that.

So you're saying it went something like this.

Feb 4, 2018

Ring-ring

"Good morning, Leitner-Poma sales, how may I help you."

"Hi this is John Cumming, I've only got a few minutes, the mourners will be here shortly, but I'd like to order 2 Bubble chairs, 1 Chondola, and six-pack."

"I'm sorry sir we're currently all out of six-packs, can I interest you in some new gondola cabins instead."

"Sure, what the hell, I've got more FU money than ever."

"Great, I'll get this written up and we'll send you new lifts right over, and sir, I'm sorry for you loss."

"Thank you, I probably call back later for a couple fixed grips, have a great day!"


All joking aside, I don't care where there money came from, I'll be more than happy to ride a bunch of new lifts this year.
 

Rogman

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Interconnect continues to be on the Killington-Pico radar. They continue to lease the land, and they continue to update the Act 250 permitting. When they put in RFID, they put in a six station reader at the Ramshead lift, indicating that they expect it to be updated soon. Increased capacity on that lift is essential for the Interconnect. The installation of this water line right along one of the Interconnect trails, is also essential for Interconnect to go forward. Just another step in incrementally funding the improvements necessary to make it happen. The backlog of ASC deferred maintenance has been eliminated. Whatever (10 year?) note POWDR took to buy Killington-Pico is likely paid off. The long standing story from the Admin is that the "Interconnect is 5 years out". I'd bet it's shorter than that now.
 

urungus

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Is it possible/allowed/worth it to ski the trail that was cut from Pico down to the Killington access road in the late 90s ? Are there any uphill sections? And is it possible to cut over to Rams Head to avoid hassle of access road, it looks like the trail gets pretty close:

E08AE89E-B189-4A8F-A060-05F9F346C223.jpeg

There are some good photos of the trail here, it looks well maintained and is wide enough for heavy machinery:

https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/skiareaexpansions/Vermont/killington/interconnect.php
 

skiur

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Very doable with only minor uphills, it is currently used to move groomers between K and Pico.
 

thetrailboss

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So you're saying it went something like this.

Feb 4, 2018

Ring-ring

"Good morning, Leitner-Poma sales, how may I help you."

"Hi this is John Cumming, I've only got a few minutes, the mourners will be here shortly, but I'd like to order 2 Bubble chairs, 1 Chondola, and six-pack."

"I'm sorry sir we're currently all out of six-packs, can I interest you in some new gondola cabins instead."

"Sure, what the hell, I've got more FU money than ever."

"Great, I'll get this written up and we'll send you new lifts right over, and sir, I'm sorry for you loss."

"Thank you, I probably call back later for a couple fixed grips, have a great day!"


All joking aside, I don't care where there money came from, I'll be more than happy to ride a bunch of new lifts this year.

:lol: Yep.

Getting to your point, completely agree that POWDR skiers and riders have suffered a lot and now it is great to see that some major upgrades are coming.

POWDR is John's baby. Snowbird was Ian's baby. Ian dumped a TON of money into Snowbird and they still are making MAJOR improvements. But outside of mountain operations, the staffing situation is a real shit show. Again, money buys nice toys but not wisdom.

Also very happy to read in the last few posts that the plan is to restore or add some snowmaking and not to bulldoze the remaining narrow trails. Pico's character is a big selling point.
 
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Can someone explain how will the interconnect improve the actual skiing experience at K/Pico? I get the marketing aspect, but marketing fluff and customer benefit are not necessarily linked. The only people I can see really benefitting are 1) the Killington homers who'll be stoked to say their place is even more bigger-er, and 2) the skier who enjoys the task of following signs and navigating routes and intersections. Now he has a bigger map to assimilate.
What am I missing?
 

deadheadskier

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Can someone explain how will the interconnect improve the actual skiing experience at K/Pico? I get the marketing aspect, but marketing fluff and customer benefit are not necessarily linked. The only people I can see really benefitting are 1) the Killington homers who'll be stoked to say their place is even more bigger-er, and 2) the skier who enjoys the task of following signs and navigating routes and intersections. Now he has a bigger map to assimilate.
What am I missing?
A lifted Pick up truck with big ass tires? ;)

I don't get it either. K is already massive as is. Pico, mellow and old school. My skiing preference leans towards the latter, hence why Wildcat gets my pass business. I'd prefer the interconnect never happens

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mbedle

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Can someone explain how will the interconnect improve the actual skiing experience at K/Pico? I get the marketing aspect, but marketing fluff and customer benefit are not necessarily linked. The only people I can see really benefitting are 1) the Killington homers who'll be stoked to say their place is even more bigger-er, and 2) the skier who enjoys the task of following signs and navigating routes and intersections. Now he has a bigger map to assimilate.
What am I missing?

I believe that it is more than just an interconnect, but includes 2 new ski pods.
 

machski

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The two new interconnect pods could make for some great, sustained, uniterrupted blue trails. Something K has lacked in the past. Now with the tunnels, Snowdon skis more uninterrupted but all those blues are mostly straight lines. Regardless, the interconnect will be a huge headache for the resort if built. They will likely want to connect the two by the Christmas holiday and that in and of itself will need a huge amount of snowmaking firepower to accomplish reliably. While I love Jordan and Oz at SR, there are many that believe those two pod expansions were a bridge built too far. Most years, it is a challenge to link the Jordan Hotel to the rest of the resort by Christmas (last year not withstanding). They get it done, but many years it results in a single trail of TTB skiing in the Aurora and sometimes Jordan pod. And almost never anything open in Oz yet. That will likely be the case at Killington if the interconnect happens. One run down each new Pod by Christmas, likely a green run should those exist. And given it will take firepower away from other areas, I wonder what Bear would look like then at that time period, or access from the Sunrise condos or the Skyeship?

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ss20

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The two new interconnect pods could make for some great, sustained, uniterrupted blue trails. Something K has lacked in the past. Now with the tunnels, Snowdon skis more uninterrupted but all those blues are mostly straight lines. Regardless, the interconnect will be a huge headache for the resort if built. They will likely want to connect the two by the Christmas holiday and that in and of itself will need a huge amount of snowmaking firepower to accomplish reliably. While I love Jordan and Oz at SR, there are many that believe those two pod expansions were a bridge built too far. Most years, it is a challenge to link the Jordan Hotel to the rest of the resort by Christmas (last year not withstanding). They get it done, but many years it results in a single trail of TTB skiing in the Aurora and sometimes Jordan pod. And almost never anything open in Oz yet. That will likely be the case at Killington if the interconnect happens. One run down each new Pod by Christmas, likely a green run should those exist. And given it will take firepower away from other areas, I wonder what Bear would look like then at that time period, or access from the Sunrise condos or the Skyeship?

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Skyeship generally does not open until Christmas week anyway. They do not start making snow at Pico until December. If they start in mid-November they would be able to get some terrain open at Pico and in the interconnect "pods" relatively early in the season just using the Pico snowmaking muscle (I believe).

This is a great Newpylong question as I'm not really sure how "connected" the two systems are or will become now.


The interconnect will always be a touchy subject. I am for it, but if it doesn't happen I'm not going to be sad. Pico is great the way it is, but to be able to ski 1,000+ acres of terrain that includes Bear Mountain, the Canyon, Outpost, and the Pico summit is an awesome fantasy to have them all connected a few lift rides away from each other.
 

machski

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Skyeship generally does not open until Christmas week anyway. They do not start making snow at Pico until December. If they start in mid-November they would be able to get some terrain open at Pico and in the interconnect "pods" relatively early in the season just using the Pico snowmaking muscle (I believe).

This is a great Newpylong question as I'm not really sure how "connected" the two systems are or will become now.


The interconnect will always be a touchy subject. I am for it, but if it doesn't happen I'm not going to be sad. Pico is great the way it is, but to be able to ski 1,000+ acres of terrain that includes Bear Mountain, the Canyon, Outpost, and the Pico summit is an awesome fantasy to have them all connected a few lift rides away from each other.
Agreed on the Pico system, but which system would the interconnect terrain be tied too? I guess the they could link back of Pico to that and side of RH to K's. Either way, to make the link, more snow will be needed on that side of the resort than now early on. Unless K increases pump capacity and automates some of their hydrants, they will be hard pressed to get Skyeship and Bear open by Christmas if the link is seemed essential. For sure, the first few years at least it will be for marketing purposes alone.

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Newpylong

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Currently, the two systems are not connected in any way. Pico has it's own water source (the small pond near Outpost lift with a natural slow recharge rates). The closest water source on the K side is the Snowshed pond which is fed by the Roaring Brook intake, Ottauquechee River (Gondola pumphouse) and the Woodward pipeline. That is not including the system on the Bear side either. K essentially has unlimited water for their snowmaking needs.

After this recently approved K to Pico project is complete, there will be a pipeline from the K Snowshed system passing through Ram's Head, over the "interconnect trail" and coming down the front of Pico into the pond previously mentioned. I have not seen mechanicals but my hunch is that this will be a low pressure transfer system (due to topography and length) purely used for moving water from K to Pico. It cannot be used to withdraw directly on trail.

That said, I think any future interconnect will have to rely on both systems due to the topography between K and Pico. The trail pod/system directly adjacent to Ram's Head will be fed from the K side, and the pod that is on the Pico side will be fed off that system. As for the air, that quite possibly will be laid out in a similar fashion - but they could decide to connect both mountain's air plants as well.

I believe both side's would need to add additional pumping capacity to adequately cover this terrain without the balance of the place suffering. They may need more air - K can simply keep their rental fleet longer into the season or they can purchase additional electrics. Obviously with all of this comes increase labor costs as well. More terrain to cover = more crews. They need so many snowmakers and last I remembered from last winter they were going into December with like 30 openings.

Hope this helps.
 

cdskier

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I don't see the financial advantages to the ski interconnect between K and Pico ever happening. What would be the advantage? Sure you can boast about it in marketing, but I don't know that you'll see enough additional skiers to justify all the added costs (snowmaking and grooming on any new trails in the Interconnect pod alone would drive up costs plus running lifts in the new pod). If they were connected, would you run Pico (and the interconnect pod) 7 days a week? If so, I think that eats into your profits further as well as I don't see there being enough increased skier visits/revenue to offset it. If not, that weakens your marketing advantage ("we're the biggest resort, but only on certain days").

On the downside, an interconnect in my opinion removes one of Pico's current assets - the fact that it sees a lot less traffic than K and the snow can hold up longer as a result. You can argue that lack of crowds is not something that makes management happy, but even if you had more people on the Pico side of the resort after building an interconnect, I still think your overall K/Pico skier visit numbers would only be marginally higher as the increased traffic at Pico would be just a redistribution of people that were skiing at K in the past. I just don't see there being enough "new" people brought in should they build it out eventually. And you very well could lose some existing Pico-only customers if the character of that area were to change with increased crowds/usage.
 
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I hope the rationalizations of it not making business sense are correct. I'm definitely in the camp of preferring Pico to remain separate.

That said, and to answer my previous question, one objective "consumer" benefit I can see is that the skier who is lodging slopeside at Killington can spend (most of) a day at Pico without needing to pack up the car and drive.
 

abc

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The benefit (of Interconnect) will be to the home owner of Pico. They get to ski Killington without having to get into a car.
 

ss20

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The benefit (of Interconnect) will be to the home owner of Pico. They get to ski Killington without having to get into a car.

I think it would help anyone coming from Rutland or the NY Thruway. To go up the K access road up to K1 adds 10-15 minutes compared to just going to the Pico lot. I am always coming to K from 100 south and as long as they are open I go to Skyeship or Bear. I prefer less crowded lodges, ample parking, and most importantly 10-15 minutes less of driving rather than being at the "heart" of the resort by going to K1. If I came from Rutland I would go crazy trying to get to K1 or even Snowshed/Ramshead on a mid-winter weekend. Sometimes I will go to K1 on a Friday and that is pretty bad by its self.
 

skiur

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The benefit (of Interconnect) will be to the home owner of Pico. They get to ski Killington without having to get into a car.

And they will be ski in/out midweek as well. Having the interconnect would make the value of those slopeside condos shoot way up.
 

crazy

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I am typically a fan of adding new terrain to our mountains, but I am against the interconnect. If POWDR feels that it is necessary for business reasons I am by no means going to actively oppose it, I just hope that it does not happen. K and Pico have such different vibes. I seriously worry that the old-school, laid back, uncrowded vibe of Pico would be ruined by making it all one big resort. They each have good things going for them, but I don't want that to change.

More snowmaking for Pico is fine by me. My personal preference is that places do a lot of snowmaking in the beginning of the season to lay down a base, and then cut back as the season progresses to let as much of the natural snow accumulate onto other natural snow. The exception here are major rain events when a rebasing is necessary, even if it's well into the season.
 

bdfreetuna

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I prefer less crowded lodges, ample parking, and most importantly 10-15 minutes less of driving rather than being at the "heart" of the resort by going to K1.

I've been to Pico a lot of times when you can barely find a seat in the lodge all day. I guess mostly weekends, but even on days when the lot is half full that lodge has a hard time fitting everyone trying to boot up and use the cafeteria. The upstairs bar gets crowded easily too.

I see this as one of the main weaknesses when it comes to increasing Pico crowds. Half capacity in the parking lot means full capacity lodge and a medium size lift line.

Typically I get a lot better parking location and seating at Bear Lodge and sometimes Rams Head. I've parked at Snowshed a few times as well just because I was able to get a good spot. Skye Ship base is a pretty viable option as well a lot of the time.

So IMO Killington parking situation is pretty good if you're flexible about it and know the crowds, not trying to park at K-1 every single time. Pico is pushing it's infrastructure beyond what most areas seem to on peak days already.
 
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