Killington opens new lodge - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Killington opens new lodge

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Thousands of feet above the town of Killington, Emma Vrancik and Brian Kissner were glowing while enjoying their first meal minutes after getting engaged at Killington's all new Peak Lodge.

"No, he totally surprised me. I couldn't even believe it. I had no clue," Vrancik said.

It's special moments like these that Killington resort officials hope to host more of at the new fine dining establishment. They say the restaurant, with 360-degree views of five states and Canada, has been a long time coming.

"Culmination of three years in the making. We had a vision to redesign our old restaurant that was approximately 25 years old, that we would offer a state of the art facility," said Scott Harrison of the Killington Resort.

At over 4,000 feet in elevation, the lodge is the highest in the state. Those behind the lodge say offering something that is unique is essential to survive in this market. That means catering to skiers and snowboarders with eclectic tastes, as well as those who are not hitting the trails.

"There's a lot of people that are in for a couple days and they might not ski one day or there's other people in town that aren't skiing and we make sure we have enough going on," said Michael Solimano of the Killington Resort.

Resort officials say many skiers and snowboarders aren't satisfied with fast and cheap food after hitting the slopes. They want five-star cuisine. But entrees here still go for less than $20.

"We are just trying to be different than the other base lodges and trying to do a different experience and as far as products, trying to use some regional cuisine," said Eric Rusch, the executive chef.

Those enjoying the resort say for certain demographics, spending the day in the snow means wanting a total fine dining experience.

"I've been snowboarding for 10, 15 years now. So, I'm getting to an age where I want some of that stuff more or less than I did when I was younger," said Dave Bernier, a snowboarder.

For those making special memories, they say the upscale venue is a perfect backdrop for some of life's most important moments.

"I've had so many good memories at this ski resort and I figured I would just add one of the best to it," Kissner said.

The restaurant was completed less than two weeks ago and officially opened Jan. 9.

Resort officials say the entire project cost about $6 million to complete.

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