To be fair, many resorts around the country buy those old lifts when they're taken out and put them into use. Its perfectly understandable when a resort does upkeep on lifts as opposed to replacing them. Killington is in good company with resorts that keep old lifts running.
You're absolutely right. Killington is no longer a first-tier eastern resort, like Okemo or Stowe. Killington would have to be considered second-tier, like Mt. Snow, Burke, etc, even though they are large and do the most visits, they simply don't offer what the first tier resorts offer. So, by your reasoning, Killington is in good company with all the other second-tier resorts out there.
It's certainly never been first tier in terms of trail maintenance of trees and debris. Woods trails could be vastly better simply by removing small dead branches or fallen trees. When trails are cut debris is often pushed to the side instead of chipped or removed.
The Bubble chair they put in last year seems to have had its effects on you as a shiny new object. I will give you that it has been extremely popular esp when there's the usual VT liquid event or serious cold.
However, the shiny object cost $6.9 million. For that cost there is no increase in uphill capacity and it's exactly the same length.
Anything else, increase in capacity, location, length, would've required a lengthy permit process. The general attitude among people working there before was it's a waste of money. Now that it's in? Well it's done and nice not to get rained on. But the money would have been better spent on the mid lodge whose facilities for ski school kids are woefully inadequate.
It has been successful enough, probably in marketing, that they're putting in another bubble this year.
Sugarbush's lifts were anything but top tier but now they're replacing some.
Highway Star cannot be swayed by facts....oh...PERIOD.