Sundance’s Eco-Friendly Slopes

Sundance’s Eco-Friendly Slopes

By Snow and Local Insider \ March 15 2019

Sundance Mountain Resort, nestled at the foot of looming Mount Timpanogos, has long fostered a culture where skiing, art and conservation of the land take priority. When Robert Redford purchased a sprawling parcel of land in the North Fork of Provo Canyon back in 1969, his vision included a community committed to the arts and the responsible development of this stunning landscape. In addition to providing a retreat for artists and creative types, Redford envisioned his resort blending seamlessly with the soaring granite peaks, gambol oaks, and the rushing North Fork of the Provo River.

These choices led to what is now Sundance Mountain Resort and Nature Preserve dedicated to wildlife, hiking and recreation.


Our commitment to Sundance has always been to develop very little and preserve a great deal.

– Robert Redford


ARTFUL RECYCLING

For over 30 years, Sundance has encouraged guests, and visitors to participate in their various recycling programs. Guests are provided with the option to recycle their paper, cans and glass directly in their guest rooms.

Sundance’s most unique recycling initiative can be found with their glass recycling program. Recycling glass in Utah once presented quite a challenge before curbside recycling was widely available in Salt Lake and Utah Counties. Long ago and to this day, Sundance continues to accept glass recycling from both guests and visitors. Wine and other glass bottles are then recycled onsite and turned into decorative art and housewares within an onsite glassworks studio.

Each winter, glass blowers from Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara take up residence at Sundance, forging environmentally-motivated artistry in the mountains. The glassblowers meld recycled glass into beautiful and useful objects ranging from vases to wine glasses, to dinner plates. Guests will encounter these upcycled pieces in many areas around the resort. In the heat of glassblowing season, (typically January through March), each artist may produce up to 500 drinking glasses per day.

Visitors are encouraged to stop by and see first-hand the glassblowers at work. Over the years, they have perfected and refined techniques that are fascinating to watch. Their producs can be purchaed in the Sundance Art Stuido loacted right next door to the glassblowing stuido.

glassblowingjpg

USING LESS PLASTIC

Sundance has joined the growing coalition of individuals, businesses and policymakers working to replace single-use plastics to reduce impact to humans, animals, waterways, oceans and the environment. For example. Sundance has discontinued the sale of disposable plastic water bottles on property – eliminating over 35,000 bottles from the waste stream each year. Here are a few more ways that Sundance has eliminated single-use plastics:
  • Plastic straws have been eliminated from all of Sundance’s restaurants and are only supplied upon request.
  • Plastic coffee stirrers have been replaced with more environmentally friendly bamboo options and all to-go containers are now fashioned of cardboard. 
  • Single-use plastic amenities in guest rooms, such as shampoo or lotion, have been replaced with larger dispensers that reduce the waste of unused product and eliminate the creation of plastic waste after each guest visit. 
  • The resort does not use plastic bags anywhere on the property and the General Store purchases recycled cotton grocery bags to mitigate plastic waste and help educate guests about the importance and ease of taking simple yet eco-friendly steps. 

DSC_0411JPG


GREEN BUILDING AND LED RETROFIT

The Redford Center, Sundance’s newest event center, was designed with the future in mind by using LEED building standards. Ground source heat pump technology, LED lighting and light sensors to reduce energy consumption, while green products such as carpets with recycled content and insulation made from recycled denim enhance indoor air quality. 

Additionally, Sundance has been taking steps to reduce the resort’s energy consumption and boost overall efficiency at the ski area. One massive project has been to incorporate LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs in the lighting fixtures across the resort. These bulbs are more durable and last longer, producing far less waste in the long term. LED bulbs also typically consume around 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Approximately 60% of the entire resort has now been retrofitted with LED bulbs and Sundance will continue to work to replace inefficient incandescent bulbs with more energy efficient options.


LAND STEWARDSHIP

If you are lucky enough to see a bighorn sheep while hiking on Mt. Timpanogos, you have the USFS, Robert Redford, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Foundation for North American Wild Sheep to thank. Their hard work resulted in the reintroduction of these majestic animals which had become extinct in the 1920’s due to over-hunting and disease. 

For the past fifteen years, the resort has partnered with Utah State Foresters and the USFS to mitigate increased bark beetle infestation brought on by prolonged droughts and shorter winters due to climate change. Annual treatments are used to improve the health of the forest, wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire danger and protect the watershed. Additionally, Sundance has worked for the past 17 years to ensure native plants and grasses continue to thrive.

“Sundance’s sustainability efforts are a work in progress. As a steward of the land, Sundance’s commitment to the environment will ensure the jaw-dropping beauty of this landscape will never fade.”
Julie Mack – Director of Sundance Preserve
comments