21. MIKE SOLIMANO: THE KING OF KILLINGTON
During his 10 years as Killington’s VP of finance, Mike Solimano earned himself a long leash from parent company, POWDR Corp. “I think being a numbers guy, and after seeing that the numbers were going the right direction, they had more faith in me,” Solimano said in 2017, after the first Killington World Cup.
Solimano joined the company in 2002 and moved into the president and general manager role in 2012. Since then, the “Beast of the East” has been roaring. Killington has hosted the largest women’s World Cup event in history (three years in a row), built 35 miles of downhill mountain bike trails—the largest lift-served bike park in the East—and is finishing up what may well be the largest base lodge in America. The new lodge at K1 is expected to open in 2021.
Throughout, Solimano has been mindful of the resort’s role in the community. Killington’s on-mountain restaurants still serve up locally-sourced fare whenever possible. Since Covid-19 hit, the resort has had regular “Farm to Trunk” food giveaways, purchasing everything from cheeses and meats to vegetables and grains from small farms and giving them away to locals in need.
“By supporting our local farms and those experiencing food insecurities, we hope to strengthen our community and inspire others,” Solimano said in a press release. And whether it’s doling out bags of food or brushing the snow off cars in the parking lots, Solimano is the type of leader who rolls up his sleeves and is out on the front lines with his employees.