KILLNGTON, Vt. – The Audi FIS Women’s Ski World Cup is returning to Killington this Nov. 25 and 26. After a successful 2016 event, Killington locals are gearing up for what should be another booming weekend. Last year, Killington saw over 30,000 people at the first World Cup skiing event in New England in over 20 years. The numbers are only expected to grow this year.
Killington’s Superstar trail will be used to host the slalom and giant slalom events to 90 participating athletes representing 20 countries. The 2016 Killington World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist, Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to return this year.
Killington business owners are already in preparation mode for the spike in numbers that the World Cup brings. Owner of the Summit Lodge & O’Dwyers Irish Pub, Emmett O’Dwyer said that his business “increases about 80 percent during that weekend.”
Not only does the business heighten in town but so does the comradery. O’Dwyer said, “It is a wonderful event for the entire mountain community and it is a great marketing tool for bringing people to Killington who haven’t been here before.”
With the success that last year brought, the bar is set high for 2017. Killington Resort President Mike Solimano is prepared to meet and surpass last year’s standards. He will do so by enhancing bussing and bathrooms and introducing a free concert, an athlete presentation, and a Teton Gravity Research movie premier all on Friday night.
This year a Killington World Cup Committee (KWCC) was founded by Killington Mountain School and operates through Killington Resort. According to their Facebook page, the “KWCC will consider and award grants to qualifying 501(C)(3) organizations to facilitate competition and training infrastructure in the Northeast and to increase participation in competitive winter sports programs throughout the Northeast.”
The free concert after the Saturday races has also brought a lot of attention. Last year, O.A.R headlined following the band’s 20th anniversary. This year patrons can expect to see Dispatch, an indie band who originated in Middlebury, Vt. Patrons who plan to attend only the concert should be prepared to park at either Pico Mountain or at the Skyeship Lodge.