Archive for May, 2007

Killington Vermont Real Estate Activity

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Prestige Real Estate of Killington has recently sold 2 more ski on-ski off properties in Killington.   We were both the listing and selling office for the sale of a 3 bedroom 3 bath home on Trailview Drive.  This house closed for $900,000.  Prestige Real Estate of Killington was the selling office for a 3 bedroom 3 bath Sunrise condominium which sold for $321,500.   We continue to be the leader in Killington home and condominium sales.

Future of the Killington Real Estate Market

Monday, May 21st, 2007

If you have a vested interest in the Killington real estate market as I do, you probably have been waiting with great anticipation for announcements from the new owners of the Killington Resort as to their plans.  After all, major infrastructure improvements will signal great confidence in the vitality and potential in the area and should translate into an upsurge in buyer interest and real estate prices.

So far, the approach of Powdr Corporation, the entity that will be managing the ski and resort operation, is to take one step at a time.  First, they have recruited an extremely qualified individual, Chris Nyberg as President.  Chris has been in place for about a week and is getting acclimated to the resort and the personnel.  Based on his comments at a recent meeting, it seems there will be two areas of initial focus:

  1. To focus on upgrading the small things that will make a good first impression
  2. To upgrade the snowmaking infrastructure to ensure a good customer experience and keep people coming to Killington

Although these activities are important first steps, they are not likely to make a tremendous difference in Killington real estate sales prices in the short term.  In a newsletter put out by Prestige Real Estate shortly after the announcement that the mountain would be sold, we predicted that market activity should increase but prices will be most affected when there is tangible evidence of significant new investment.  For the full text of that newsletter…

A statement made by Chris Nyberg indicates that as improvements that are made at Killington bear “fruit” (i.e., profits) for Powdr, those profits will be re-invested in Killington to fund larger and larger projects.  Obviously this will take some time.

The bottom line is that there is great reason for optimism.  I translate that into “this is a great time to buy in Killington.”  There is a strong inventory of quality properties and prices are very attractive.  These prices are not likely to drop, given the anticipation of future development, and they are most likely to increase as more significant infrastructure improvements begin in the area.

Killington Season Ski Passes

Monday, May 21st, 2007

As you have probably read or heard by now, the new owners of Killington made quite a first impression by announcing that bond-issue and stock-issue season ski passes will only be honored for two more years.  The truth of the matter is that the announcement came from American Skiing Company, not Powdr Corp.  These are passes that when bought, were expected by the buyers to last through the buyers’ lifetime. 

Apparently, these are “lifetime” passes, but the [Sherburne] Corporation’s lifetime, NOT, the buyers’ lifetime.  In this case SP Land and Powdr purchased the assets of Killington and Pico.  They did not buy the Corporation and have concluded they have no legal obligation to honor the arrangement. 

I would expect that this will not be the last we will hear about this and perhaps it will be decided ultimately in a court of law.  What I am sure about is that the new owners did not buy a lot of goodwill with this move.

Regarding season pass rates and offers for the general public, they are not expected to be announced for a few weeks.

New priorities for Killington

Monday, May 21st, 2007

I had the good fortune of sitting in on a meeting this past weekend sponsored by the Killington Resort Homeowners Association.  Chris Nyberg, new President of Killington was asked to speak and answer questions about the plans for the mountain and the Killington resort.  Chris spoke and answered questions for about 90 minutes. 

First, I will say that Chris seems to be highly qualified for the position and seems highly approachable.  He has over 30 years experience in the ski industry in a wide range of activities, including building a ski area from scratch to his most recent role as Vice President for Bombardier, a world-wide leading provider of snow cats and heavy equipment for the ski industry.

Much of the discussion centered around the priorities of the new management of the resort.  Chris emphasized that the new owners will invest this year, what American Skiing Company (ASC) has spent at Killington in the last two years combined.  He also emphasized that Powdr’s track record is re-investing in areas that make money (i.e., what is made in Killington will stay in Killington).  After stating that he feels that “Killington is an icon, the gem of the East” and has tremendous potential,” Chris summarized his impression of the condition of the resort by saying that “this place [Killington] is getting a bit old.”

In the short term, the priorities will be:

Overall Appearance and Improving 1st Impressions

  • “We will polish the resort up over the summer”
  • “We will put new toilets in Ram’s Head for the women”
  • “We will focus on upgrading small things that will help make a good 1st impression”
  • “Improving the customer experience”
  • We will also spend a lot of money on snowmaking system improvements (underground pipe) that may be invisible to the general public

The Village

  • Steve Selbo, President of SP Land will be moving the Act 250 process forward
  • No real infrastructure changes are expected to occur until at least Spring/Summer 2008, although it is likely that we will see “stakes and ribbons” up and around in the next 3-4 weeks
  • What’s closest to the “lifts” will most likely be built first

In general, the exchange between Chris and the audience was very upbeat and optomistic.  As one would expect, attendees made an effort to forward their particular “hot buttons” such as re-energizing the philosophy of “1st to open, last to close”, etc. and extending the attractive season pass rates. 

I think what we will see is a careful examination of the economics of each decision, many of which we will not “see” for a while.

Killington sale is complete!

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

The sale of Killington to SP Land and Powdr was FINALLY completed yesterday.  Now the question is what will the new owners do?  Chris Nyberg has been named to succeed Allen Wilson as President of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain.  No other details are available at this time.  It is fully expected that the preparations for the development of the Ski Village will take some time, most likely more than a year before any real shovels hit the ground.  Some of the questions on my mind, and I assume are on many others’ minds are:

  1. Will the new company re-energize the plans for the interconnect between Killington and Pico resort?  Some say the Village will drive skier visits and will justify the interconnect.  Others feel the interconnect will draw more skiers?  Is this a case of “the chicken and the egg?”
  2. What will the ski season pass rates be?  Will Powdr offer discounted pass rates similar to those offered by ASC over the past couple of years?  Many think that ASC was “forced” to offer attractive deals to capture “cash” early in the season.  Will Powdr see ski pass rates as a “loss leader?”
  3. What will the priorities be for the new company? We know that the “Village” is the focus of SP Land but will the company view the base lodges as they currently exist as a help or a hinderance?  Will people who might be interested in buying a new slopeside property be turned off by the aged infrastructure at the mountain?  Will base lodges be renovated or possibly torn down and rebuilt?  Will new hi-speed lifts be added?  Will new trails be developed?  Will the wooded areas be trimmed to encourage more “tree skiing?”
  4. Who will be part of the management team?  Chris Nyberg has been involved in the ski business for many years and was formerly Vice President for Bombadier, a maker of snow equipment such as snow cats.  Who will he choose for his team?

For what we know now, see the story in the Saturday, May 12th Rutland Herald.

We will continue to post items in this blog as we learn more.  In the meantime, tell us what you think.

What is delaying the sale of Killington?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

According to the Rutland Herald this morning, the sale of Killington has been complicated by the fact that the resort is located on state land.  This has required a review of the transaction by the State Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.  Apparently, the transfer of the lease, with no changes, was approved on Monday.  The lease runs until 2060.  Steve Selbo, President of SP Land is hoping that the closing will take place on Thursday of this week.  For the rest of the Rutland Herald story…

All of us in Killington are anxiously awaiting the official announcement that the sale of Killington to SP Land and Powdr Corp. has been completed.  We are anticipating announcements from the new owners as to their plans for the real estate and hopefully, upgrades to the mountain.  Stay tuned!

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