The calendar may say October, but in Killington it’s beginning to look a lot like winter. Manmade snow and a light dusting from Mother Nature have helped resort officials kick off this year’s ski season.
Justine Gotthardt says when she heard Killington was going to open today just for season pass holders, she and her husband jumped in their car and drove up from Pennsylvania. “Conditions are wonderful,” she said. “The snow was very soft and this is the earliest I’ve ever been out skiing in my life, so it’s a good thing, a very good thing!"
Last year Killington opened October 13th, which was one of the resort’s earliest start dates ever.
But Rob Megnin, Killington’s Marketing Director, says unfortunately, they had to shut down soon after because of rain. “What looks like going to happen this year is we’ve finally gotten a cold spell so we can get out and make it and it looks like it’s going to be sustainable from now on. So we’re optimistic that we can get going,” he says. “So that’s the good news on this early opening."
Megnin says one upper mountain slope is open, but with ongoing snowmaking, they hope to add two additional runs this weekend when they open their lifts to everyone. He smiles as he mentions he was one of the lucky few who got to test the run before the public yesterday morning.
“Woo-hoo! laughs Megnin. “It’s fun. Oh my God it’s fun. Skiing in October. . . are you crazy? For us passionate people, this is as good as it gets.”
Mark Strollo of Waterford, Connecticut and Bob Dillon from East Hampton, Massachusetts were all smiles as they carried their skis across the parking lot to the gondola.
“We always get here in October,” says Strollo. “Sometimes they don’t open ‘til the beginning of November, but we’re ready. We’re thinking about it all summer,” he laughs. Adds Dillon, “It’s good to be back. We’re glad to be here.”
Killington is the first ski area in Vermont to open this season. According to the Vermont Ski areas Association, most other resorts have set opening days closer to Thanksgiving .