Killingtons new Peak Lodge promises unsurpassed experience
CORRESPONDENT | October 28,2013
A view is shown from the new Peak Lodge in Killington, on track to open in December.
While skiers and riders celebrated opening day at Killington last week, construction workers and resort officials celebrated as well. For them, opening day on the mountain meant they were that much closer to their opening day — one they have anticipated for more than three years.
In 2011, Killington teamed with the architectural and land planning group Robert Carl Williams Associates, of nearby Pittsfield, to design a new Peak Lodge. Construction crews broke ground that summer and anticipated a December 2012 completion. What the resort didn’t anticipate was the cost of building the 22,000-square-foot expanded facility or Tropical Storm Irene delaying the process.
Originally, the Peak Lodge was designed to have a basement support level, capped off with two floors, said Mike Solimano, Killington’s president and general manager. It included a food court, fine dining area and a deck similar to the one on the original lodge. But the resort only budgeted $7 million for the project and bids on the original concept topped $9.5 million. That’s when Solimano said, “Our pencils had to be sharpened.” He added that while Killington could have accepted the bids, capital resources have limits and the extra funding spent on the construction would mean less money for future projects on the mountain.
So, the resort went back to the drawing board, opting to get rid of the “bells and whistles” approach and instead combine two smaller floors into a larger floor.
The resort then focused their attention on the best use of resources that would provide the best all-around building to guests, Solimano said.
Then Tropical Storm Irene hit and the flooding caused extensive damage not only on the mountain, but also to surrounding towns, which caused delays in construction.
Now, a year later, crews are on track for a December opening, according to officials.
The “icon” will replace what Solimano calls “the eyesore” that was the old Peak Lodge. The concept for the dining experience is more “farm to table” and upscale than other base lodge offerings, he said, with no fried foods available to guests.
The original lodge was built in 1967 as the Summit Terminal and was the largest supporting building for the mountain’s first gondola.
The new facility will be nestled at an elevation of 4,160 feet and sit atop the highest lift serviced in the state.