Local News

Option tax up slightly

The first quarter rooms and meals option tax numbers indicate a strong season.

The option taxes brought in about $215,000 for Killington this year, up from the five-year average of $204,550.

“It was a good winter as far as rooms and meals,” said Killington Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth.

Local business owners reported a good season, mostly due to the good winter weather.

“It never really warmed up,” said Basin Ski Shop General Manager Jan Pierre. “We had a good snowfall from the beginning of September straight through.”

Base Camp Outfitters owner Mike Miller said the weather and strong economy attracted more traffic through his doors.

“It was a very good season,” he said. “It was up quite a bit.”

Last July, Killington became the first town in the state to rescind the 1 option tax on sales. The town still collects a 1 percent tax on rooms, meals and alcohol.

Combined, the option taxes brought in about $429,374 to the town’s general fund in the first quarter last year.

Hagenbarth said the town is making up for the loss by transferring events and marketing efforts to the Killington Pico Area Association and the resort.

KPAA Executive Director Mike Coppinger said restaurant owners reported a 12-15 percent increase in business from last year.

“Numbers were really good  – much stronger than last year,” Coppinger said. “The weather helped out a whole lot. We had some early storms which were seen from folks down country.”

Killington Resort held its final day of the season on June 2 this year, marking 211 operating days this season.

“From snowfall total and our operating days and people being here, it’s been a great season,” said Killington Resort Communication Manager Courtney DiFore

It snowed 233 inches this year, which is only an inch more than last year, but the timing of the snow made this year a better season. Last year, skiing and riding started Nov. 8 and ended May 26.

Birch Ridge Innkeeper Bill Vines said the resort’s marketing efforts and announcement of $16 million in investments helped the season.

“The season was very strong,” said Vines. “The resort has been very public in recent years in their investment strategy.”

Vines also said promotion of the World Cup, which drew an estimated 30,000 visitors last November, has helped draw more visitors to Killington.

While business was better for some, others said it was an average year.

Hillside Inn owner Andy Batel said he hasn’t seen much difference in the number of guests the past two years.

But acknowledged that “We had a good amount of snow.”

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