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The mountains of Killington,Vermont

The History of Killington Ski Resort and Our Surrounding Town

Our resort and the surrounding town have a fascinating history filled with adventure and discovery. Keep scrolling to learn more about our resort and Killington’s rich history.

Killington Ski Resort

Our resort has a vibrant history beginning nearly a century ago. What started as a hotel near the summit of Killington Peak transformed over the years into what it is today- a popular four-season travel destination with endless winter activities and plenty of ski in/ski out condo rentals in Killington, VT! Journey to the past with us as we provide a snapshot of the resort’s history and how Killington, Vermont came to be. 


Killington Peak is the second-highest summit in Vermont and the Green Mountains. The summit first became accessible in 1859 when a horse path was cleared, but it became fully accessible in 1879 once a carriage path was established. This carriage road led to the construction of a near-summit hotel, which M. Meyerhoffer opened in 1880.

The hotel enjoyed success for several years but was sold to Marcellus Wheeler in 1901. By the time 1907 came around, the hotel and the carriage road that led to it were abandoned and falling into disrepair. 

A group of Green Mountain Club members made the first ascension of Killington Peak in 1917. The hotel was beyond repair at this point, and the summit tract was purchased by Mortimer Proctor two years later. Proctor deeded a portion of this land to develop a lodge in honor of Charles P. Cooper, a former member of the Green Mountain Club. Construction on the lodge was completed in 1940.

The talk of creating a ski lodge near Killington Peak by the Vermont Forest and Parks Department began, and the state finally acquired a tract of land for this purpose in 1945. However, plans to develop land for a ski resort didn’t move forward for another decade. 


Preston Leete Smith, a graduate of Earlham College, was encouraged by a friend to look into opening a resort on Killington Peak. Smith came into contact with an investor, and the two came to an agreement on the best type of resort to open. 

The Sherburne Corporation, formed in April 1956, headed the project. After three years of intensive planning and labor, their project came to fruition. The Killington Basin Ski Area opened on December 13, 1958. They installed two more lifts in January, making this resort the first in US history to have at least four slopes during its opening season. 

The Killington Basin Ski Area quickly became a popular destination in Killington, VT. During the 1960s, this resort underwent several updates and expansions to draw in a larger crowd. The first chair was added in 1960. During the following several years, additional lifts were added, more trails were cut, a more significant day lodge was added, and the parking lot was expanded. 

Ski Lift in Killington

Several low snow seasons in the 1960s prompted Smith and Sargent, his investor, to install snow-making systems. This was an unusual move, as snow-making systems were considered a luxury for southern resorts. However, it paid off in spades, and the resort continued to attract exponentially more visitors each year. There were only 118,000 visitors in the 61-62 season, which skyrocketed to 300,000 in the 68-69 season. At this point, Killington Basin Ski Area had 30 trails, nine lifts, and three base lodges. 

Killington expanded further in the late 70s with the addition of several lifts and the acquisition of Glen Ellen Ski Area. This decade also brought about a record number of snow days, which increased interest and visitors to this area. Gondola service to Killington Peak was added during this decade, as was lift service to Needle’s Eye, South Ridge, and Bear Mountain. 

Financial challenges hit nearby Mount Snow during the 80s, which led to Killington purchasing the land. In the mid-80s, a new company called S-K-I LTD was established and initially consisted of Killington and Mount Snow. Right after this company was formed, the political climate in Vermont became contentious toward big ski developments, and the ensuing roadblocks prevented Killington from making any significant updates or improvements for years. 

Once it became clear that further expansions at Killington were in peril, S-K-I decided to expand by acquiring more land. They bought up two mountain areas in the late 80s and an additional three areas in the first half of the 90s.

In 1996, S-K-I merged with another large company to create the American Skiing Company. This company purchased the nearby Pico Peak the following year with plans to connect it with Killington Peak, although these plans never came to fruition. 

Plan Your Visit!

If you’re craving an unbeatable skiing vacation, it’s time to start planning your adventure to Killington, Vermont! Whenever you book with The Killington Group, it’s easy to make your dream ski vacation a reality. Simply view our Killington vacation rentals, book your favorite, and prepare to shred the Beast of the East.


The American Skiing Company bought resorts and areas all around the US, eventually leading to financial difficulties. In 2007, Killington and Pico Peak were sold to Powdr Corporation and SP Land Company.

The Powdr Corporation and SP Land Company had the backing needed to expand Killington. The Killington Peak Lodge opened in 2013, and in the following years, they also opened the Snowshed Adventure Center with mountain biking trails. Summer activities like ATV tours and a multi-story rope course also opened in the late 2010s.

The SuperStar trail on Killington hosted the best female skiers in the US in 2017, and new challenges, like the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge, have now become a rite of passage for skiers in Vermont. The resort continues to expand and add new activities and equipment to enhance the experience of skiers and visitors. Killington has grown into a four-season resort with an assortment of exciting Killington outdoor adventures perfect for people of all ages.

Where to Stay in Killington, Vermont

When you’re looking for a place with easy access to Killington Resort and the best amenities, you’ll want to stay with Killington Vacation Group. Our Killington rentals feature everything you need to enjoy your trip in comfort. 

We have fully equipped kitchens, high-speed internet, fireplaces, cable TV, and more! Our ski-in/ski-out properties in Killington, Vermont, are the perfect choice for those who want a cozy, comfortable spot to come home to after spending the day exploring Killington Peak. We have activities and rentals that will suit all lovers of outdoor winter activities at our Killington, Vermont, ski resort. Contact us today to book your next adventure!

Killington Ski Resort is one of the most prominent destinations in the state of Vermont. Our resort has the most extended ski season in North America and has the best nighttime skiing and mountain biking trails east of BC! Your visit to The Green Mountain State isn’t complete until you spend a day on the slopes at Killington Ski Resort. 

Out of all the things to do in Killington, VT, skiing is one of the most popular activities. Stay in one of our cozy Killington condo rentals to relax in the evenings after spending all day on the mountain, or sleep in and check out some other Killington winter activities like tubing and snowboarding. 

When you want to enjoy one of the highest peaks in the Northeast, our Killington, Vermont, ski resort is the place to go! Killington, Vermont, is located just three hours from Boston, MA, and only three and a half hours from Providence, RI.