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Why Killington is doomed...........

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

Took a ride yesterday w/ the family & hiked big K.  Now it is a Saturday in July & there are 20 cars in the lot.  10 look like DH bikers.  5 employees.  5 Hikers.  They are spinning the gondola & wondering why there are no guests.

 

 We finish the hike & there is not even anywhere to eat except the Lookout.  They have 3 cars in their lot & we ate there 2 weeks ago.  It was a ghost town!!!!

 

 Listen up fine folks of the town:

 

"10 DH bikers who BBQ & brown bag their beers outside their cars will not support you ; Let the mountain build the village already."

 

Just keeping it real people....................

 

 fwiw : Base Camp Outfitters was the only sign of life, glad they have a business combo that is working!!!!

 

 

post #2 of 11

Are the DH, BBQ & brown-bagged beer just summertime phenomena?

post #3 of 11

If you think that DH mountain bikers are not worth the effort, I suggest going and taking a look at Highland Mountain or Bromont, QC. The problem isn't the bikers, it's that K-Mart sucks as a biking destination. Bromont does 60K DH  MTB visits per year. That's enough people to spin three HSQs for.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

Please don't get me wrong.  I am grateful for the few who come & ride there.  I love the terrain (I do tend to pedal up & ride more xc).  My point is that as long as the town stifles development of a 'complex' of some nature, you will have the same lame experience.  There needs to be a singularity that pulls in people.  I know that Vermont is not big on development, yet every destination caliber place has a resort village of some form.  Living up here full time now, I see how this is a gaping hole in Big K's infrastructure. 

 

It is not about making K successful as much as making the community successful.  I have a uber tricked out XC machine, yet except for the beverage I buy ( if you can find a place open) I spend not $$$ there.  Cash is needed to bring in more business, offer more amenities & lure more retailers. 
 

The town's perspective appears that they don't want the tourists w/ the money b/c they fear development & ruining the wonderful access road mess they have now. 

 

After all, a visitor has to have something to visit.  Yet, the locals will keep on complaining about the Vermont economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

If you think that DH mountain bikers are not worth the effort

 

it's that K-Mart sucks as a biking destination.

post #5 of 11

I think you are right. Killington barely exists in the summer. In fact, it's almost hard to believe that it has locals because it is so dead. There's hardly any reason to go there. I feel the same about Stowe, except that we do have a town, so at least there is that, but the mountain company while it is doing a much better job than K seems to be doing, is not even close to doing the summertime business it could do.

post #6 of 11

A base village isn't going to attract anyone long-term, sure, they may show up once to see it, but won't come back, unless there is something there for people to do. Epic is right, Highlands Mt Bike Park has exploded because they put amazing amounts of effort and thought into developing a place that people are excited to return to... and they have major events to get them there to see what they have going on. If they started with a 'base village', they'd still be an abandoned town ski area... with a hotel.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

A base village isn't going to attract anyone long-term, sure, they may show up once to see it, but won't come back, unless there is something there for people to do. Epic is right, Highlands Mt Bike Park has exploded because they put amazing amounts of effort and thought into developing a place that people are excited to return to... and they have major events to get them there to see what they have going on. If they started with a 'base village', they'd still be an abandoned town ski area... with a hotel.

Right on!

 

Too many mountains forgot why people go there: the sport, not the shopping!

 

Yes, the business makes money on the shoppers. I'm one of such guest. After a day of hard skiig/biking, I go do a bit of shopping! And that's after a good deal of eating and drinking. :)

 

But without a valid attraction to bring them there in the first place, none of these mountain "base village" is worthy as "shopping destinations"! I wouldn't drive 5 hrs to Killington to shop. I would stop at Woodbury which is only an hour away, if you get my drift.

 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I think we are actually more in agreement here than not.  No, buildings & stores will not bring in folks.  There needs to be a certain level of activity going on.  I'm currently looking at the purchase of 'vacation' property in Waterville Valley.  I have never even skied there.  Yet every time I visit there is tons of activity.  I am interested in the summer more than the winter.  Visiting last mid week, there were crowds of folks everywhere.  Why? they have a town square, a coffee shop (read here coffee is not the most important item, yet I rank it here b/c everyday I ended up in this sweet real shop, sitting watching the water), pond/beach w/ canoe, kayak, paddle boats, swimmers, an ice rink, nature shows, bike rentals ( for mear mortals too) , golf, indoor/outdoor pools, children's area, live music, hiking, they were running a multi day tri later in the month, had events every weekend, an ice cream shop, an athletic center, sand volleyball...... & the whole area is well connected via trails that wisely double as xc terrain in the winter.

 

I have trail run Killington for 3 hours, not run into another human being & then been unable to find a beverage.  There needs to be a critical mass to make things happen & this will not occur in Killington's current state. Everyone is correct that people have to want to come for something. 

post #9 of 11

Northern NH was empty last week despite the holiday week & perfect weather. Lot's of hotel/motel & restaurants out of business everywhere.

The only places I saw doing a reasonable amount of business were the Cog railway, Attitash summer park and the attractions in Franconia Notch (mainly the flume gorge).

Even the Mt. Washington Hotel/Bretton Woods was fairly quiet.

There is plenty to see & do in the area but not many people. Might have something to do with the lousy economy.

I am talking mid-week & don't know if it's different on weekends but like I said lots of business' closed everywhere.

 


Edited by steamboat1 - 7/12/11 at 9:42am
post #10 of 11

yet if you go to Burke, VT on a weekend you will see hundreds of cars with mountain bikes on them with license plates from as far away as Ontario and PA, there isn't a hotel room or campsite available and there are almost no restaurants or shops... what is there is one of the best mapped-signed-easy to self navigate trail systems anywhere. The Kingdom Trail Association gets 60,000 day visits ($10) per summer along with a few thousand season pass ($75) holders, they take the money they make and put it back into maintaining there trails and building new trails. People who go there come back again and again... and they bring their friends with them.

 

This is a grass-roots effort by a community, word of mouth has driven the success.  Imagine if one of the larger 'Resort Mgmt' companies tried to put a little effort into building a REAL 4season resort, instead of just offering a mediocre golf course, a place to hold wedding receptions and nothing else.

post #11 of 11
In my opinion some places must accept that they are a useless destination in summer months for a good portion of people that contribute to wintertime success.

Ski-town sometimes means winter place only (generally speaking).
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