The Mountain Times

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Bill’s Country Store sells for $355K

KILLINGTON - Howard Smith cast the winning bid of $355,000 at the auction for Bill's Country Store Friday, Sept. 14. Smith represented a partnership between businessmen in the community with a common vision for the community landmark: A Killington Welcome Center and new home for the Killington Chamber of Commerce.
The large red building is in a prime location for this purpose as it stands at the junction of Killington Road, Route 4 and Route 100 north with about 275 feet of Road frontage on Route 4. The building, built in 1977, has 6,000-square-foot of commercial space on the main level, a 2,000-square-foot apartment above, a large basement below and 1.6 acres surrounding the property.

The partnership of business owners who now collectively own the property are in the process of working out details of the arrangement, including who is involved and to what degree the ownership is shared among them.
The interest in helping shape the future of this iconic landmark is also shared by the community as was evident when over 60 people showed up to the highly anticipated auction. About 20 of those in attendance were prepared to bid. The property had most recently been assessed at $605,230, which perhaps is what led auctioneer Thomas Hirchak to start the bidding at $600,000. When no one responded, he said, "I am always optimistic," and quickly dropped the offer to $200,000, which kick-started the bidding.

While the interest was high, the bidding was conservative, jumping in $25,000 increments until Hirchak reached $300,000 then it decreased to $10,000 and finally $5,000 to reach the winning $355,000 bid.
A group of local real estate agents standing together for the event were shocked by the low winning bid, remembering when the tag was well over double, if not triple, that price by some estimates. "It's an absolute steal!" said Tricia Carter of Ski Country Real Estate.

The collective vision that the ownership group has for this Killington landmark fits well with the town's Gateway to Killington Streetscape plan. Both seek to create a welcoming sense of arrival for visitors. The Streetscape project, which has secured grant funding, also includes landscaping, traffic-calming measures, parking, walkways and signage. These improvements will further help to enhance the location of Killington's new welcome center.