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.
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.
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!