Killington Ski Resort

Vermont’s Behemoth Beats its image as Beast  of the east

By Peggy Shinn

Killington, the skier’s mountain, is making a name for itself beyond its implausibly long season (October to May) and vast terrain. Its five mountain peaks still stretch across 3,000 acres of Vermont’s Green Mountains, but sprinkled amidst these eastern summits are new and unique drinking and dining establishments. Take the Motor Room Bar. This  inimitable happy hour hotspot is perched in a Jetsons-esque, Plexiglas-enclosed oval structure atop the decommissioned Devil’s Fiddle quad on Bear Mountain (Killington’s first quad chairlift installed in 1983). Surrounded by panels of lift electronics—plus a stellar view of the sunset and twinkling lights in far-off New Hampshire—guests dine on Vermont artisan cheeses, shrimp cocktail with avocado relish, and homemade ginger sesame truffles… all while sipping glasses of chardonnay, Long Trail Ale, or slamming shots of Powers Whiskey. As for the table? It’s made from the lift’s bull-wheel brake.

The entrance to Twin Farms

But the Motor Room Bar isn’t packed with skiers. Available by reservation only for up to 10, Motor Room Bar guests meet at 5 p.m. at the K-1 Lodge’s Umbrella Bar (another of Killington’s unique dining structures), and take a 15-minute snowcat ride accompanied by a resort executive, such as Scott Harrison, Killington’s director of hospitality who helped conceive the bar with former president Chris Nyberg. The Ledgewood Yurt, hidden in the snowy woods near Killington’s Needle’s Eye, is another dining experience that’s worth the cat ride. Lit by candles and heated by a wood-burning stove, the yurt’s rustic-chic ambiance and five-course meals earned its spot in the food magazine Four’s list of the world’s most romantic restaurants. New for this season, the $6.5-million Peak Lodge near Killington’s 4,241-foot summit opens in December 2013. With minimalistic décor, the Peak’s 270-degree view of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, New York’s Adirondacks, and almost all of Vermont serves as a backdrop. On the menu: farm-to-table entrees, carving stations, sides of Brussels sprouts and asparagus… but also chicken tenders and fries. After all, Killington is still a skier’s mountain.