Killington gets jump on the season - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Killington gets jump on the season

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KILLINGTON, Vt. -

While it was a soggy weekend for many around the region, for some lucky folks at Killington the wet weather produced the first skiing and riding runs of the year.
   
On a ride up the Killington K-1 Gondola Sunday it looked like a dismal fall day.

But, once you made it to the top, it looked a lot like winter.

"This is the earliest opening we've had in 15 years," said Rob Megnin with Killington Resort  

While the visibility atop the mountain  was low, the spirits of those hitting the slopes were sky high.

"I'm hoping for a  great season," said one skier.

"Oh, it's the best," said snowboarder Ian Patch.  "All summer is just spent waiting around for this day and then it doesn't even matter how it's foggy or whatever, it's great."

Only one of Killington's 140 trails was open just for the weekend, but resort officials say weather conditions last week made firing up the snow guns for the weekend a just cause. "On Friday night we saw a window of opportunity. We had 24 hours and we fired up on Friday afternoon and just kept on going through the night and in the morning. This is what we were here with," Megnin said.

All 400 who hit the open slope over the weekend are season ticket holders -- the mountain was not open to the public.
"These are the people who are the most dedicated to us and we wanted to do it for them," Megnin added.

And the pass holders were full of thanks, after they shelved out hundreds on season passes last year for a season that turned out pretty bleak.

"Oh, it's phenomenal. It's like the coolest thing they could have ever done," said skier Randy Grasso.
    
"They've never done anything like this before," added skier Cindy Grasso.

"It makes us feel super appreciated," Randy Grasso said.

Killington's Rob Megnin said the early start is really a tribute to the past -- and something they hope to see reborn. "We've gotta return to the days of old when Killington was the beast -- and we are the beast and this is one of the things that really is core to our brand and we're going to continue to look to open early and close late as long as we can, as long as mother nature allows," he said.

In all, the resort made three feet of snow for the weekend event. Skiers and riders said that even though it's manmade under their skis and in their hands, the snow feels pretty real.

An easy start to what these folks hope will be a busy winter season.    

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