Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface are the first Eastern resorts to partner with The Climate Reality Project I AM PRO SNOW Project. (Whiteface/Facebook)
On the heels of announcements for $28 million in investments at Whiteface, Gore and Belleayre, the three New York-owned ski resorts have pledged to be powered by 100 percent renewal energy by 2030, joining The Climate Reality Project I AM PRO SNOW 100% Committed campaign.
The three resorts have been pioneers in environmentally conscious initiatives in the Northeast. “To a large degree Gore, Whiteface and Belleayre have met many of the standards in the Pro Snow campaign, so it made us a natural fit as the first resorts in the Northeast to make the pledge,” Olympic Regional Development Authority’s Jon Lundin told SnoCountry.com.
By committing to this cause, Belleayre, Gore, and Whiteface are working to move away from the fossil fuels driving climate change and shift to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
The I AM PRO SNOW program works with mountain and adventure sports communities at a grass-roots level to protect the future of winter seasons. “There are solutions out there, and winter athletes, resorts, business and mountain communities see one of the solutions as transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity. We can connect ski areas from across the world together to move in that direction, provide resources and how-to to make that transition happen,” Lindsey Halvorson, regional organizer for I AM PRO SNOW told us.
“Our most precious commodity is snow, and our resorts have begun to spearhead the campaign to reduce carbon footprint and make sure winters won’t continue to change as much as they have over the last decade or so,” Lundin told us.
The three resorts began using solar power in 2015 for lift and snowmaking operations. Lundin added that Gore hopes to have about 85 percent of its power come through solar by next year.
Ongoing investments in new, high-efficiency snowmaking technologies have allowed the resorts to reduce their carbon footprint while making more snow in a shorter amount of time at a lower cost. They’ve also changed grooming patterns to conserve snow, and regraded trails to minimize the amount of snow needed to cover them. The resort’s Zero Sort recycling allows guests to have a hand in reducing waste.
"Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface are key drivers of their local tourism economies, and with this commitment they are joining New York's nation-leading efforts to fight climate change, reduce our carbon footprint and foster the development of renewal resources," Governor Cuomo said. "This commitment to New York's future, along with landmark new state investments in these facilities, will help ensure these resorts' continued vitality for generations to come."