Go Green: What Resorts Do To Reduce Environmental Footprint
From efficient snowmaking to recycle stations to wind and solar generation, ski and snowboard resorts know that their survival depends upon reducing the effects of climate change.
Many visitors look for greener resorts, so here's a glimpse at what SnoCountry found when it went looking for sustainable resorts.
Jiminy Peak. In 2007, the western Massachusetts mountain installed a wind turbine. Ten years later, it paid for itself and, combined with a solar array, powers 100 percent of the resort.
Sugarbush. Effectively treating wastewater, keeping drinking water clean and controlling stormwater runoff all get special attention at the Vermont resort. Recycling of waste has cut use of local landfills by one-third.
Aspen-Snowmass. The Colorado resort captured waste methane from a local coal mine to help power the four-mountain resort. Aspen Ski Corp. also flexes its political muscles to lobby for more renewable energy sources.
Taos Ski Valley. The industry's only B Corp went through a strict certification process that measures social and environmental performance, ranging from employee benefits to energy and waste reduction. New Blake Hotel heated and cooled by geothermal.
Wasatch resorts. Smog-plagued Salt Lake City and suburbs aggressively promote public transport, park 'n' ride, light rail and ride-sharing. Central to the effort is Ski Bus that picks up all over the city before heading up to the mountains. Light rail connects airport to bus and runs to Ogden-area resorts.
Squaw Valley. Management has taken steps to avoid too-frequent power outages by partnering with Tesla and local utility company to built a battery system for storage. Upcoming base village overhaul to be environmentally conscious, too.
Diamond Peak. First U.S. resort to get Stoke accreditation, California resort has free shuttles from town, electric vehicle charging stations and water bottle filling stations – plus it's invested heavily in local watershed restoration.
In the Michigan, Crystal Mountain has a long record of sustainability: first to purchase wind energy credits to power its high-speed quad; first LEED-certified spa; and first in northern Michigan to install EV charging stations.