Wed, Aug 22, 2012 12:41 PM
Nearly a year later and to unknowing eyes looking around the
Killington area you hear "what storm, there was a tropical storm
here that caused how much damage?"
The damage our two resorts sustained totaled over $5.5 million.
Irene curtailed several capital projects we had in process and we
redeployed crews to deal with the 300+ new projects she
Because of the amazing recovery efforts by our teams, two months
later we opened the resort for winter operations. The first resort
to open in the east, we might add. Admirable, considering
Killington sustained substantially more damage than any other
resort in the state.
Getting open early and staying open with a good skiing and
riding product is one of our annual goals, and last year it was
doubly important. With all the media coverage, it looked like
Vermont was down for the count. We recognized early that getting
open was going to be extremely important for the health of business
in our resort community and our state.
Because of Irene's damage, we were able to improve some of our
facilities in the repair process. The best consequence of
Irene's destruction came from our biggest loss, the Superstar
This 7,000 sq. ft building collapsed. Three months later, it was
gone and replaced with a 6,400 sq. ft umbrella bar, the largest in
North America and wildly successful. Popular at many European
resorts, the umbrella bar concept has thrilled Killington guests
providing a new food and drink experience at the bottom of
Irene delayed the building schedule for the new Killington Peak
Lodge by a year, but progress has resumed. The footings and walls
for the first level are nearly complete, after which we will put
the site to bed for the winter. Work to complete the building will
resume in May, with an expected completion date of December 2013.
What a wonderful addition this special facility will be for our
community and state.
Irene and her drama will never be forgotten. We learned so much
about the power of nature and the strength of the human spirit in
the face of that power.
From a regional standpoint, everyone was affected to some
degree. So many wonderful stories can be told of compassion and
helpfulness. Banding together to overcome adversity is such a
wonderful human trait. When faced with falling off the cliff,
humans always find an alternative.