Ski Resorts Drastically Boosting Sustainability
Most of the ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains have environmental protection policies because the mountains they are built upon are considered National Parks. These ski resorts are required to include a certain level of eco-friendliness, commitment to environmental stewardship, and commitment to environmental restoration. Resorts are often a part of the community they are in, especially in a ski town. Resorts offer many jobs and include shops, restaurants and residences. Because the resorts are at the heart of the local economies in these ski towns, when a ski resort uses less energy from fossil fuels it can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of that community as a whole. For instance, Telluride has a solar powered gondola that connects two villages.
Steamboat has won awards for their sustainably designed community. Steamboat also has three chairlifts that are ran on power generated by wind and solar and energy. According to Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, Steamboat has “award-winning area design, solid-waste recycling, comprehensive on-mountain natural & ecosystem resource management”.
A project in development of Vale Resorts encompasses a high level of sustainable design. Vale Resorts is planning on using pine trees that have been already killed by pine beetles for the construction and is planning on incorporating alternative energies such as geothermal and hydro micro-turbines to produce valuable utilities. Ever Vail also plans on being built with an energy efficient design and a water recycling system.Vale Resorts has made commitments to sustainable living unheard of for their project in development. Ski towns like Steamboat and what Ever Vail is planned to be are good models for future cities because of how resilient of a community they build.
“[Vale Resorts] operate the ski resort almost completely with wind energy… The garbage is separated in the ski resort” – SkiResort.Info
“[Ever Vail is] the most ambitious green resort community development program in North America”. – Vale Resorts
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