Blog :: 06-2007

Stay up to date on Killington real estate activity with regular updates and information on sales activity

Killington Resort Success will bode Success for All

Why should those of us interested in Killington real estate care so much about what the Killington Resort plans for 2007 and beyond?  I think an editorial in the Rutland Herald was "right on" in terms of making the connection: 

"Nyberg's [new Killington President and General Manager] comments suggest the company intends to invest in the deferred maintenance and basic upkeep of the ski areas before making big capital improvements. Killington and Pico face strong competition, and shabby facilities will prevent them from returning to the top rank of eastern ski areas.

A prosperous ski area is good for the region. It spills over into the restaurant, lodging, and real estate businesses, as well as the retail and cultural businesses of the entire region. If Powdr is able to achieve its ambitions, the benefits are likely to be far-reaching."

I fully agree that the tone of the resort sets the tone for all commerce in the town.  If the mountain is successful, I see success for all neighboring businesses and property owners.  For those who want to rent their properties, there should be more visitors to the area, needing a place to stay.  For those who want to sell their property, a better image of the mountain and its prospects should translate into rising property values and more buyer interest.

Killington plans to invest $3 million in the resort this year and much will go toward polishing existing infrastructure and snowmaking improvements.  New season pass rates are out that support a strategy to improve the customer experience and make money.  Powdr says they will invest profits from Killington in Killington. 

I like what they say.  I think the future is bright.  We just have to have some patience.  Bottom line is that I think it's a great time to buy Killington Real Estate. 

Killington Announces 07-08 Season Pass Rates

It seems like we've been waiting an eternity.  After all, in past years, season pass rates were announced in May for the following ski season.  But this year, the mountain was sold in May, May 12th to be exact, and we've been waiting for announcements ever since, announcements about anything new! 

I think people have been particularly anxious about what it will cost to ski or ride next season.  The one good thing that ASC did in the past few years was to entice people to come with VERY attractive season pass rates, as low as $369 for an All-for-one Bronze pass.  But was that really good?  Based on what we've heard from Powdr so far, those rates just encouraged the masses to drive up and crowd the mountain on weekends, degrigating the quality of the experience to be had.  Based on that perspective, one would expect that rates would go up, particularly rates to ski or ride on weekends.

So, this should come as no surprise.  Season pass rates have gone up, but, how much?? Based on information, found today on Killington's website

Midweek (M-F) Killington & Pico pass, any age (14 blackout dates): $299

Killington & Pico "Blackout Pass" any age (18 blackout dates): $599

Killington & Pico unlimited pass

  • Adult: $999
  • Young Adult & Senior: $799
  • Junior & Super Senior: $699
  • Child: $29

According to the website, these prices are valid until July 31, 2007.  There will be new prices announced after that, presumably higher.  For more information and details about the offer, visit Killington's website.

Personally, I am not surprised about the prices as they seem to support the strategy that has been quoted in other earlier pieces:

  1. Improve the overall quality of the customer experience
  2. Discourage weekend "day trippers"
  3. Encourage mid-week visitors

Please post your comments on what you think about the new rates.  We'd love to hear what you have to say.

Killington Real Estate: New Condominium Listings

Prestige Real Estate of Killington has recently listed 4 Killington condominiums for sale.  All are true ski on/ski off properties at Sunrise.  Cambridge 101, a 1 bedroom, 1 bath is listed for $178,900; Timberline H-1, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath is listed for $225,000; Timberline L-4, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath is listed for $335,000; and, Lodges A-202, a 3 bedroom, 3 bath is listed for $560,000.

 Prestige Real Estate of Killington specializes in listing and selling condominiums, homes and land in Killington.  For more information on these listings and all other listings in the Killington area.  Visit our website.   

Powdr seeks for Killington what Vail achieved this year

Skier visits are down but profits are up!

According to Joanne Kelley of the Rocky Mountain News, Vail Resorts reported profits of $78.5 million for their fiscal third quarter, a 15% increase over the same period last year.  While overall skier visits at all Vail Resorts combined was down 1.1%, the resorts attracted more out of town visitors.  Rob Katz, Vail Resorts CEO, attributes the increase in profitability to more "destination" skiers who spend more because they need lodging and meals and tend to take ski lessons and spend more in retail outlets.

Sounds like the strategy for Killington

From what we've heard from the new owners of Killington, they seem to be focused on improving the overall guest experience.  This may mean a reduction of the number of skier visits because of higher prices, discouraging weekenders and day-trippers from making the "trek."  However, I expect to see attractive ski and stay packages encouraging "destination" visitors to come and stay a while.  This should enhance the rental income potential for property owners and improve the business income for retailers and restaurant owners.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The new Killington: When???

Tankers aren't turned on a dime

 All of us in Killington and those who have an interest in Killington are anxiously awaiting some positive sign from the new owners of how the resort is going to improve.  Certainly, I want to see something NOW but let's be honest; we need to give it a chance.  After all, the ownership transferred less than a month ago.  A tanker cannot be turned on a dime.

First strike and you're out??

OK, the first announcement (came from ASC, not the new management) did not enamor anyone to the new owners.  (It was an issue about "lifetime passes" and their expiration within 2 years, if you missed it.)  But, let's be honest, we cannot fault the new owners for paying attention to making money.  They did not agree to take on ASC liabilities when they bought the assets of the resort.  If "lifetime pass" holders have a "beef", shouldn't it be with ASC for "selling them out?"

Profits are to be reinvested

From what I hear, when the resort makes money, the money will be reinvested back into this area and will help to continue the improvement of the resort.  We have no reason to believe that this will not be the case, other than that's an approach that we have not seen in many years.  Powdr says it will invest this year what ASC invested in the last two years combined.  That amounts to millions of dollars.  The unfortunate part is that is a drop in the bucket of what is needed in Killington.  But, we have to start somewhere.  No reasonable business person can expect money to be spent without regard to payback.  That will take some time.

New priorities

Powdr wants to make money.  Let's be real, if they aren't profitable, nothing will improve.  Powdr feels that the path to profitability comes from improving the quality of the guest's experience.  The objective is to get people who come to Killington to stay longer and come back.  That sounds like a noble objective to me.  They go on to say that low prices may bring in the masses, but that does not necessarily translate into a high quality experience for anyone.  We have all been on the mountain at some time when there have been 18,000 other customers there.  I expect your reaction was similar to mine, "AHHHH, get me out of here.  This is a death trap."  Then again, those people lucky enough to experience Killington on a non-holiday midweek probably go home telling everyone how terrific the place is and cannot wait until their next trip back.  Did those two different experiences occur at the same place?

Expect a new pricing strategy

I think the bargain season pass rates are a "thing of the past."  I do expect to see a pricing strategy that may dissuade people from busy periods (i.e., higher prices) and encourage a balance of traffic to provide a more even higher quality experience for all.  This should result in visitors wanting to come back.

"Beast" versus "Best" of the East?

To some, "beast" IS "best" but to many, particularly the more profitable guests, it is not.  I personally think that an objective of creating the "Best of the East" will be better for everyone.

So, when??

I think we will begin to see some solid announcements within a week.  Powdr executives have been in town in meetings with key employees and these meetings have been characterized as very productive.  Season pass rates should be "out" any day.  Hopefully, there will be announcements of other tangible plans for this summer as well.

Let's give them a chance!

Les Otten loses bid for Sunday River and Sugarloaf

American Skiing Corporation announced on Tuesday that they have agreed to sell Sunday River and Sugarloaf to Boyne USA for $77 million.  Boyne USA is a privately held company which owns and operates eleven ski areas and and golf resorts in the US and Canada.  One of their most notable holdings in the ski industry is Big Sky in Montana.

According to the Rutland Herald, Les Otten did bid on the two Maine resorts but was beat out by Boyne.  For the full story...

The sale of Sunday River and Sugarloaf, expected to occur by the end of July, will leave American Skiing Company with just one remaining resort, The Canyons in Utah.

Real Estate Activity In Killington VT

Prestige Real Estate of Killington has recently sold two more properties.  A beautiful 4 bedroom 3 bath home in Killington for $650,000 and a trailside town home for $765,000.  We have also just listed for sale two Sunrise condominiums, a 1-bedroom unit for $178,900 and a 2-bedroom unit for $225,000.  These units are both the lowest priced units of their kind, currently on the market in Sunrise Village and have direct ski in, ski out access.  For more information on these and other properties, visit Prestige Real Estate of Killington's website.