Killington gets ready to host thousands of visitors at World Cup
KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Killington Mountain is busy preparing for this weekend’s World Cup.
“We’re so excited to have it back!” said Mike Solimano, the president and general manager of the Killington Ski Resort.
Solimano says the snowmaking team has been battling the weather to make this weekend’s races possible.
“It’s been warm and cold and the teams have been working really hard. We made snow a lot of times and lost it for rain,” he said.
To make sure Superstar would be ready for this weekend, Killington used 17 million gallons of water, 160 snow guns and they have had three snowcats grooming the trail, just about 24/7.
“We just got the mountain open, top to bottom skiing,” Solimano said.
Wednesday, resort visitors were getting in some early season runs, like Jamie Bishop of western Massachusetts. He has Thanksgiving plans with family but wishes he could be at the World Cup.
“Just kind of cool that an event like that is here in Vermont and it’s not very often you get to see it,” Bishop said.
Chris Jordan, Jeff Campbell and John Petrullo-- all from New Jersey-- were up skiing for the day. Campbell says he’s been to the races in the past but won’t make it this year.
“I need to be home for Thanksgiving, see some family. Otherwise, we would be here for sure. No doubt,” Campbell said.
Instead of 15,000-20,000 people, the number of spectators has been cut in half. And proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test is mandatory.
“Still, it’s just good to see people back out and about,” said Kieran Titus, who owns the Killington Shirt Company.
Titus says spectators will be shuttled from the bottom of the mountain to the top, bypassing restaurants and stores. But he expects them to come back after the races and says the World Cup has made more people aware of Killington as a destination point.
“Get that memory planted that even if they didn’t come up here for the event that maybe they will want to come up later on in the season, or if they didn’t get to ski this weekend, maybe they’ll get a chance to come back,” Titus said.
Killington has been open for weeks but most mountains have delayed their opening day.
Sugarbush is now open.
Jay Peak, Stowe, Okemo, Mount Snow and New York’s Whiteface all open on Friday.
“Killington’s elevation and the fact that we have such a great snowmaking system really allows us to pull off an event like this on Thanksgiving weekend,” Solimano said.
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