Ski Utah and the 14 Utah Resorts are passionate about snow, not only because we work in the mountains, but we live, play and recreate in them as well. Utah’s resorts are committed to mitigating their environmental impacts and protecting their communities for future generations to enjoy.
Utah’s resorts are involved in multiple initiatives that address their responsibilities to the environment including policies to reduce emissions generated by operations, championing local food, carpool and public transportation incentives, recycle programs and educating guests on how they can help.
Utah’s Resort Program Highlights:
Big & Little Cottonwood Resorts
Under the umbrella of the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation (CCF), were awarded the 2013 Golden Eagle Award from the National Ski Area Association. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for the CCF. The CCF is a non-profit whose mission is to continuously improve the environment of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons through stewardship and education programs. http://www.cottonwoodcanyons.org/
Season pass holders ride the UTA Ski Bus Routes and Trax for free. This program reduces the number of cars driving up the canyons and encourages pass holders to take public transportation.
Alta Ski Area
As the stewards of our privately owned and Forest Service permitted lands, it is our duty to ensure Alta addresses the challenges posed by increased visitation, development and growth. With our mission, philosophy, Green Team and definition of sustainability, the Alta Environmental Center's day-to-day work includes these mirroring three primary duties:
- Pursue sustainability internally for Alta Ski Area through the conservation of energy, water, land, and business.
- Act as a resource to our community in an effort to promote more sustainability initiatives through partnerships and stewardship.
- Encourage and foster environmental education and research through internal and third party collaboration to guide management efforts.
The Alta Environmental Center coordinates all of Alta Ski Area's environmental efforts and is instrumental in developing and implementing new sustainability initiatives. By using our energy inventory and sustainable reports as a measurable comparison, we are able to decrease our carbon footprint. Our goal is to generate an annual report that reflects third-party reporting numbers, but also includes details of our energy efficient upgrades, community development, and land conservation stewardship progress.2015 Fall Sustainability Update • 2014 Fall Sustainability Update • 2011 Sustainability Report • 2010 Spring Sustainability Update • 2009 Fall Sustainability Update • 2004 Environmental Report
Deer Valley Resort
100% of Deer Valley Resort’s off-road diesel vehicles including snowcats, snow removal equipment, lawn and garden equipment and on-mountain heavy equipment run on bio-diesel. The ski lift diesel auxiliary power units are also run on bio-diesel.
Montage Deer Valley is Utah's first LEED certified hotel and the Park City resort was constructed in 2010 with direction from the company's Director of Sustainability, Mark Slyman. Montage Deer Valley also is a partner in the Renewable Choice Energy program, meaning that the resort is operating with 100% wind-generated power Renewable Choice Energy partnership Announcement with Montage Deer Valley
EpicPromise Day- Supporting Environmental Initiatives
Over the last six years, Vail Resorts has consistently demonstrated a commitment to sustainability through environmental and community support. Through EpicPromise, the company contributes $7.8 million in charitable donations to 250 nonprofit partners, organizes 20,000 hours of company-sponsored employee volunteer time, and executes on a variety of environmental initiatives each year.
This September, approximately 193 Park City employees gathered to support various water quality projects along East Canyon Creek near Mormon Flats, the Spring Creek Trailhead and surrounding areas. Working in partnership with Swaner EcoCenter, Trout Unlimited and the East Canyon Watershed Committee, the volunteers represented a portion of 2,000 Vail Resorts employees giving back that day in locations across the country as part of Vail Resorts' annual EpicPromise Day.
Park City awarded more than $1,300,000 in EpicPromise community grants to 30 non-profit organizations based in Summit and Wasatch counties in 2014. These grants support youth program and environmental initiatives that provide basic needs, connect kids with the outdoors, rehabilitate popular trails and increase educational opportunities for all kids.
Park City- Energy
In 2009, Park City installed solar thermal panels at Mid-Mountain Lodge to help power one of its busiest on-mountain destinations. Park City Mountain Resort purchases enough renewable energy to power chairlifts, enough wind power energy credits to offset 100% of electricity use and installed a solar array and vertical wind turbines which produce 30,000 kWh's annually. These initiatives have reduced carbon emissions by 55,451 tons to date, which is equivalent to over 5.6 million gallons of gasoline.
And in 2013, Park City installed two solar voltaic arrays at the base of the mountain.
To continue down the path of decreasing its carbon footprint, Park City installed LED lights at the Legacy Lodge and continues to upgrade its facilities with new features, including programmable thermostats, motion sensors for lighting, dimmers, and more efficient appliances. These upgrades reduce carbon emissions by over 940 tons of carbon dioxide each year!
Park City's Food and Beverage department is committed to reducing their amount of waste and have become leaders in the community by demonstrating the importance of buying locally. Working with the Summit County Beef organization and a number of local growers to procure herbs, vegetables and dairy product, The Farm at Canyons Village is aiming to be the first Zero Waste Restaurant in Utah
Solar Panels at Canyons Village Each year, solar panels at Canyons Village at Park City save approximately 2,200 kilowatts of electricity – the equivalent of 1.5 tons of carbon.
Waste at Canyons Village
In the summer of 2013, Canyons Village at Park City implemented a composting program for all of its base area restaurants, banquet facilities, and on-mountain restaurants. In just seven-months time, the Resort diverted over 30 tons of material that would have otherwise gone to the landfill – or the equivalent of 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
As of January 2014, Canyons Village implemented its recycling program in all village and on-mountain lodging and dining facilities, at all lifts, and in all back-of-the-house areas.
And as of the end of 2014, Canyons Village is continually diverting almost 40% of its waste from the landfill through composting or recycling.
Snowbasin Resort continues to invest in energy-efficient snowmaking improvements designed to use less electrical energy in production. This year's addition of 40 new Techno Alpin Rubis Evo low energy snowguns to the current fleet brings the total of low energy snowguns to 93, which use 90% less electricity than traditional snowmaking guns. In addition Snowbasin has reconstructed the snowmaking water reservoir, which allows the snowmaking system to be 25% more efficient.
Snowbasin Resort's culinary department is making strides in sustainability through partnerships with sustainable operations, i.e Snake River Farms and Uinta Brewing; using reusable wares- even on BBQ's; eliminating all plastic wares from group business, using reusable stylish cups/mugs at outdoor functions and concerts, eliminating most of the glass containers from the waste stream by converting almost all beer to cans and kegs, building a herb garden and hearty vegetable garden for the summer, eliminating all portion control packaging and moved to volume packs, creating menus using seasonal vegetables based on the time of the year to buy produce in season to decrease importing, and changing seafood vendors to buy only seafood and fish from approved seafood watch list.
Snowbasin's Blues, Brews and BBQ series has partnered with GoalZero to power all the electricity and sound through portable Solar Panels.
Snowbasin Resort overall has added rubber and construction waste recycling programs to their multi-stream recycling, recycles 100% cardboard and bales it for use back into the marketplace as a raw material commodity, retro-fitted low flush valves on all toilets, works with Rocky Mountain Power to actively retro-fit all lighting to low energy LED, looking to replace water heaters and other equipment to high efficiency, low energy, installing exterior lighting with photo eyes to come on when people walk by versus leaving lights on all night on the exterior of buildings, educates all employees of proper sort techniques in the back of house, recently purchased all new recycling containers for inside the lodges and outside in public areas, and has entered an agreement with Rocky Mountain Recycling to divert and recycle plastic, aluminum, office paper, glass, and cardboard- all of which are being reused as raw materials.
Founded on principles of conservation, Sundance Resort has been an example of responsible environmentalism since its inception. To maintain the beauty of North Fork Canyon for future generations, the Sundance Preserve encompasses the Resort and more than 3,000 surrounding acres of protected land in conservation easements.
The Resort and its lodging accommodations use water from local mountain-fed springs and feature recycling units throughout the property for paper, glass and metal. In addition to minimizing local impact, Sundance also offsets 100% of their energy use with renewable energy credits, eliminating more than 1,300 metrics tons of CO2 emissions each year. Finally, season pass holders ride the UTA ski bus route to Sundance for free.
Many of Utah’s resorts have No Idling Policies with the objective to provide cleaner air for guests and resulting in a reduction in fuel use and cost.
Utah’s resorts are committed to recycling materials from lodge and on-mountain operations. Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases, conserves natural resources and helps sustain the environment for future generations.
Resort Resource Pages
- Alta: http://www.altaence.com/index.php
- Deer Valley Resort: http://www.deervalley.com/About/Information/Environment
- Park City Mountain: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/site/mountain-info/learn/environment
- Powder Mountain: http://powdermountain.com/en/tickets-and-passes/lift-up/
- Snowbasin Resort: http://www.snowbasin.com/resort/sustainability/
- Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort: http://www.snowbird.com/environment/
- Sundance Resort: http://www.sundanceresort.com/conserve.html
The National Ski Area Association (NSAA) is committed to improving ski areas environmental performances across the country. With their Sustainable Slopes program, Climate Change program, The Green Room and the Golden Eagle Award, NSAA provides funding, education and support for resorts. For more information go to http://www.nsaa.org/environment/.