Killington will always be what many hard-charging city-dwellers from the New York metro area consider to be the closest, best destination. Back in the day, when it was hosting more than a million skier visits a year, the Beast rightly earned a bad rap for being crowded. And worse: mobbed with joeys. These days the resort handles a more manageable number, and frankly, a higher percentage of real skiers, giving it a more soulful feel despite its size. And nowhere in the East beats the Access Road for after-hours action. That’s partly a tribute to its wealth of fine drinking and dining establishments, but also to the party-hearty attitude of many of the passholders. Some still complain of too many out-of-control skiers, and others find it difficult to navigate from peak to peak—the flip side of the mountain’s sheer massiveness. But even the hardest-to-please of Killington regulars have to admit that management has made some great decisions in recent years. Among them: the brilliant stroke of hosting the Women’s World Cup, and a returned commitment to opening in October and closing in late May or even early June.