White Resorts Go Even Greener
As skiers flock to snow-covered trails this winter, more ski resorts are going greener to save energy and support the environment. Arapahoe Basin, in Colorado, recently received a National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes grant for retrofitting its base area lighting that will annually slice off an estimated 53,000-plus kilowatt hours of usage. A-Basin, Vail Resorts and others in the area provide their restaurants’ used vegetable oil to outside companies for recycling into biofuels. Aspen, Vail, Copper Mountain and other Colorado resorts installed more photovoltaic solar arrays on buildings prior to the current season.
Stratton Mountain Ski Resort, in Vermont, installed a 1,500-horsepower electric snowmaking air compressor last summer, replacing a diesel model. Purchased in consultation with the statewide energy utility Efficiency Vermont, it delivers more cubic feet of air per minute using less, and cleaner, energy. Since 2009, the state’s Bolton Valley ski area, plus Jiminy Peak and Berkshire East, both in Massachusetts, have all installed wind turbines to generate energy. Sarah Wojcik, director of public affairs at the Vermont Ski Areas Association, attests that resorts are doing their part to keep mountains green.