The Grand Central of the East
Some call it the "Beast of the East." Others have less kind words. Whatever you think of Killington, it keeps "packing them in." Killington handles crowds of skiers very well. It has super equipment, great snowmaking and terrain that most intermediate skiers can enjoy without too much difficulty. Most of the runs are black diamonds with only a smattering of intermediate blues. The green beginner trails, (one of them is 10 miles long!) serve as main highways or interconnects to the more challenging terrain. It is important to know their names and where they go.
But, Killington is vast and impersonal. There is very little about it that says "Vermont." It's more a place unto itself, complete with a garish "strip", "collegiate style bars," and an innovative recycling system for 30,000 gallons of skier sewage. The much touted Grand Hotel looks more like a concrete emplacement left over from the Maginot Line rather than a classy luxury hotel.
Skiing here on a holiday weekend is rather like trying to ski through a crowd at Grand Central Station. The risk of collision is high. Hardly a minute goes by without one hearing the scrape of a snowboarder from behind.
High density skier traffic on Great Eastern
Still, if you don't like it, you can opt for a less crowded day. Just hand your ticket back in within an hour of your purchase to receive credit for another day. Speaking of tickets. They cost the occasional skier $54.00 including tax and there are stern warnings posted in the Skyeship base area about fraudulent use of a ticket. It can be confiscated if it is not displayed or attached in a prescribed manner. I walked out of the area wondering if I would be detained by a member of Killington's private police force.
All Photos by Tim Palmer-Benson
PB Publishing/Scenes of Vermont
American Skiing Co. reported a loss of $10.8 million for the three months ending on January 24th. Its shares have declined 80 percent in the past year. American Skiing Co., says it has hired investment banks Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc. and ING Barings to explore alternatives, as its shares have declined. The company may raise equity or undertake "business combinations" to boost financial growth and ensure stability, chairman and chief executive Leslie B. Otten says in a statement.