The weekend of Nov. 25-26 is going to be one big party in Killington, with Warren Miller movie premieres, a free concert by O.A.R. and, oh yes, the best women ski racers in the world competing in slalom and giant slalom on the Superstar trail, all within view of the parking lot. And that includes super star Mikaela Shiffrin whom we had a chance to interview for our cover story, “Woman to Watch.”
Here are our insider tips for how to watch the World Cup from, Polly Lynn Mikula, editor of Killington’s local paper, our sister publication, The Mountain Times, and the Official World Cup Program.
1) Best place to watch? If you were lucky enough to get a $350 VIP ticket to the grandstand and VIP areas in the Umbrella Bar, post photos so those who didn’t score tickets (they sold out in six hours) can see what they’re missing! In all honestly, though, Superstar is among the best viewing hills in the world. You can see most of the hill from the bottom, grandstand ticket or not. There will be high fences to meet mandated safety requirements along the sides of the course, so watching from the base will probably give you the best view. Plus, there will be large screen TVs, as well as food, beer, and cheering fans—a scene not to be missed.
2) Best place to buy Mikaela Shiffrin a drink after? All the athletes will be staying at the fully-booked Grand Hotel. However, should they be interested in joining your party down the road, the options are plentiful. Lookout Tavern is among the most popular for beers and free peanuts. Liquid Art offers a classy environment and inspired martinis (try their Firetini if you’re feeling bold). On the Rocs makes a perfect Moscow Mule (don’t be fooled by the prohibition theme, the drinks flow freely), and the Foundry has a selection of wines and often live music.
3) Insider’s parking tip? Stay parked at your hotel and take your hotel’s shuttle or “The Bus” ($2 a ride) up the road to the event. Unless you have a VIP pass you’ll probably end up taking a shuttle from the K-1 overflow lots, Snowshed or Ramshead anyway. Bonus, no driving means no need for a designated driver! If Mother Nature blesses us with early season snow and Killington is able to open Bear Mountain or the Skyeship Gondola, then park there and you may be able to ski over. Hey, a girl can dream!
4) Best options for lodging ? Anywhere that has a room! Book ASAP with the central reservations number if you want to stay in Killington. Woodstock, Mendon, Rutland and Brandon typically fill up when a large event like this comes to town. (You can also check house and condo rentals on VRBO or AirBnB.)
5) Trails most likely to be open for freeskiing? The North Ridge Triple is typically the first lift to open each fall (one year as early as October 1) , giving access to trails Rime and Reason . Skiers and riders typically board the K-1 gondola to access the open runs. The Peak Walkway connects the K-1 gondola and North Ridge Triple if the snow is insufficient to ski between.