Killington kicks off unusual 2020 season
KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Killington Mountain greeted skiers and riders for the first time this year, but coronavirus precautions will make the resort look a lot different than years past.
Day one at Killington is an annual tradition for diehard skiers. In the year 2020, everyone is navigating through uncharted waters. From the signs on the access road, to the roadblock for parking reservations, to the outdoor ticket windows, to the contact tracing scans on the way into the lodge -- pretty much every aspect of the business has been tweaked.
“We would normally be open for about a month by now but we made a conscious decision to open slow and make sure that we have a lot of terrain open,” said Killington general manager Mike Solimano.
Day one is just for pass holders, but everyone hitting the slopes needs to sign an affidavit attesting to the fact they are following Vermont’s COVID-19 guidelines. Masks are also required and the ski resort has plenty of people spreading safety rules.
“Just please mask up, do it for yourself, do it for others,” said Molly Rhoad of Brownsville.
“I’m not going to mess it up and I hope that none of my friends are going to mess it up because this means so much to all of us,” said Suzanne Ellis of Rutland Town.
Inevitably, mountain officials acknowledge that some people will not be truthful about their own quarantine requirements, but they say procedures are in place for that reason in order to reduce crowd sizes, focus on outdoor service, and encourage social-distancing. “We are really comfortable that with our policies, even if someone did break that rule, that they wouldn’t be spreading covid at our resort,” Solimano said.
And it’s not just ski areas that have a lot on the line. It’s also the businesses that rely on them. “We are hoping it goes smoothly, everyone pays attention to the rules and takes care of everybody else,” said Valerie Hannan at the Killington Deli and Marketplace.
Success means a lot of turns for everyone this ski season. “The conditions can’t be better it is like spring skiing up there,” Ellis said.
“It’s Mother Nature at its best and let’s just hope we can keep ski season open,” Rhoad said.
The mountain is offering refunds and credits to pass holders who cannot make it up this year due to current travel restrictions in place.
Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.