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Thursday, Oct 5, 2017
Fall colors continuing to develop.
Killington community meeting overviews area activities.
Fall colors popping in Killington around the Birch Ridge Inn

Fall colors popping in Killington around the Birch Ridge Inn

Fall colors popping in Killington around the Birch Ridge Inn

Fall colors popping in Killington around the Birch Ridge Inn

Columbus weekend will be vary colorful in Vermont.

There, I wrote it down. Colors in the Killington area are continuing to develop. While peak color is always hard to define, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, areas around Killington will undoutedly be reaching peak color in the next 3 to 4 days.

This fall season, the colors in the trees are changing very slowly. If you were just looking at the calendar, all of the trees in the central part of Vermonts Green Mountain National Forest should be ablaze with color right now. However, weeks and weeks of beautiful sunshine combined with warm temperatures are signaling many trees to stay green for as long as they can.

Guests to the Killington area this weekend will find a melange of color throughout the mountains. Muted greens are being complimented with yellows, deep reds, and burnt orange. While the "Kodak Moment" is a thing of the past, cell phone pictures by the thousands will be taked across Vermont this upcoming weekend as people partake in the fall season.

With the fall season underway, last night the Killington Pico Area Association held its annual meeting at the Peak Lodge on the top of Killington Peak. About 200 people attended to listen to presentations about the area. Major initiatives discussed included the upcoming World Cup over the Thanksgiving weekend, the continued evolution of mountain biking and other summer recreational activities, the Killington Resorts Solar initiative, and many other items.

This years World Cup over the Thanksgiving weekend will see much of the learning collected from last year put into action..... It is hard to comprehend "Bigger, Faster, Better" sometimes, but this years event will be all that. From changes to the starting line of the race (up higher on the headwall of Superstar) to more busses, bathrooms, concerts, and activities throughout Killington, this years World Cup weekend will be exciting. If you cannot make it to Killington over that weekend, it was also announced that NBC will be televising the event live this year. On Saturday, the broadcast will recap the days events between 3 and 4PM. On Sunday the 26, NBC will be broadcasting the finals of the event Live starting at 1:00 PM.

Summer activity in Killington are continuing to expand with mountain biking leading the way. The resort has continued to expand mountain biking terrain off of Rams Head. 4 years ago, Killington had 2000 mountain bikers use the resort in the summer. This year, the number is 20,000. Using the average growth of the sport at other resorts, the resort is predicting that 80 to 100K riders is not an unreasonable number to project in the next several years.

To coincide with the expanded summer activities, the resort continues to add staff. In the last 2 years about 150 summer positions were created to support summer operations. Killington now employs almost 600 people to support their summer business. While a fraction of their winter employment, the continued use of the mountain year round is clearly being seen as an economic driver for the region.

Along that same thought line, Mike Solimano and Tracey Taylor, President of Killington, and Vice President for special projects, announced that the resort this year has been able to sustain lift operations every week during the year, a first for the resort. Every weekend lifts have been spinning for either skiing or mountain biking. And of course, in the heart of both respective seasons, lifts have been turing 7 days a week to support visitors to the region.

The resort also updated the community on their ongoing solar energy projects. The Killington Resort, and its parent company, Powdr, are acutely aware of the potential impacts climate change could have on thier business model. They are in the process of making sure that the not only speak out about it, but that they do whatever they can to "walk the talk". With that in mind, Killington has constructed several solar farms throughout the state to feed Green Mountain Powers grid with electricity. Within Killington proper, solar panels are being installed through out the resort, some in very visible places, to also decrease the burden of the resort on GMPs infrastructure. Three large "Solar Tracker" arrays were installed this week in the Wobbly Barn parking lot across the Killington Road from the inn as part of that activity.

In addition to the discussions about the community, the KPAA also conducted the annual vote of officers and board members for the association. The Birch Ridge Inn is very proud to announce that Merisa Sherman, a long term employee of the inn (11 years) has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Killington Pico Area Association. Congratulations Merisa! Merisa tends bar at the inn on weekends, and works as the evening innkeeper on premise when Mary and I are away from the inn. We are confident that Merisa will do a great job representing the Birch Ridge Inn and the Killington community on the KPAA board.

The grand fall foliage show that Mother Nature puts on each year is well underway. Wherever you may be, get out and play for winter is coming. The whisper date for snow making operations to begin full time in Killington is in the middle of October. Remember, we have historically been skiing and riding snow at Killington the last week of October many years, so think cold and snow.

In the mean time, where ever you may be, keep it in the fairway, remember the fall leaf rule, and enjoy.

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