"Grow the market" is the rallying cry in the U.S. ski industry,
especially with the fear of the baby boomers "aging out."
But that doesn't mean that Killington and Pico have forgotten about
the "golden oldies" - also known as the 'mature market' - who still
enjoy being on the hill.
Just the opposite. New this year, those age 80+ can enjoy a season
pass for $39.
But how about others under 80 who also have more free time to enjoy
In true Killington/Pico fashion, they want all of us, including
mature types of all ability levels, to enjoy what mountain snow
sports can offer - something few other sports can provide - a
chance to come together to socialize and participate in a sport
with like-minded folks.
So Rob Megnin, marketing director for Killington Resort and Pico
Mountain, Tracy Taylor, director of operations for Pico, and Kelly
O'Brien, Killington/Pico marketing manager have put their heads
together to develop a 50-plus program at Pico for those with a
common interest of staying active and socializing in winter.
O'Brien had received an email asking for such a program; that
request dovetailed nicely with the fact that Killington and Pico
have a large population of 50+ skiers and riders, and Megnin wants
that to continue.
Currently, the Monday program is in the planning stages. Thus far,
they would like to offer an opportunity for folks to get together
over complimentary coffee and danish to socialize and meet new
ski/ride buddies whose companionship they can enjoy on the lift
For those who don't have season passes, "a very inexpensive lift
ticket for a full day of skiing/riding will be offered," Megnin
said. They are also thinking about having guests like Donna
Weinbrecht or members of the resorts' Executive Team chat with
and/or ski with folks.
The organizers seek input from those people who might participate
in the Mondays at Pico program. Would you like to see
presentations? What type of speakers or subjects? Ski related?
Music? Art? Cooking? Finance? And if so, when? After lunch? After
skiing? First thing in the morning? (and miss all that corduroy -
you got to be kidding!)
Or should they just have invited guests socialize in the base lodge
and out on the hill? Or do that followed by a presentation for
those who would like to stay?
And speaking of lunch, should Pico provide an area for potlucks and
crockpots? Or a reasonable lunch to purchase? Main meal or light
What about lessons?
Megnin made it clear that this program is "not about trying to sell
anything nor pushing people to get better but rather to champion
networking so more people can enjoy the bonding aspects of snow
That was part of the original appeal of skiing and remains so for
many, and it is worth fostering, Megnin said. And as a bonus, the
good vibrations that socializing engenders may ultimately help to
spread the word and foster a love for the snow among the younger
generations - the participants own children and grandchildren or
But what about those who gave up skiing and might like to
Megnin said that if that proves an interest or need, providing
low-cost equipment and lessons would be doable. Whatever need
arises can be accommodated, including if grandparents want a lesson
in how to teach their grandkids. But Megnin reiterated that he
doesn't see the program as focused on lessons, rather, it's about
bonding and being a ski-buddy initiator.
So now is the time to let Megnin or Taylor know what you would like
to see for "Mondays at Pico." (I am told they will not "card" so an
interested 40-something need not feel excluded in this
You can email Tracy Taylor at TTaylor@Killington.com or Rob Megnin
at RMegnin@Killington.com and for those who still like to pen a
letter, send to either or both at Killington and Pico Resorts, 4763
Killington Road, Killington, VT 05751.