Alta Ski Area Wins NSAA Sustainable Slopes Grant
The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has named four-member ski areas as the recipients of its annual Sustainable Slopes Grant Program: Sugarbush Resort, Vt., Arapahoe Basin, Colo., Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Calif., and Alta Ski Area, Utah.
Alta Ski Area received an in-kind grant for Climate Adaption consulting services. Brendle Group, a Colorado-based sustainability engineering firm, will provide the services with a value of $5,000 to help the ski area assess and respond to potential vulnerabilities and risks due to a changing climate.
“Alta was a clear winner for this year’s grant based on their pioneering work as a founding member of NSAA’s Climate Challenge, research expertise of their snow science department, unique position in the headwaters of Salt Lake City’s water supply watershed, and willingness to lead by example in preparing the ski industry for a changing climate,” said Judy Dorsey of Brendle Group.
Sugarbush Resort received a cash grant for a 4-stream waste receptacle to start the implementation of a program to increase its diversion rate for recyclables, food scraps, liquids, and trash. The grant will help the ski area meet its goal of reaching a 50 percent diversion rate (diversion rate = waste kept out of a landfill) in three years, and in turn, reach its Climate Challenge goal of reducing its GHG emissions by 5 percent.
Arapahoe Basin received a cash grant for the installation of Freeaire Refrigeration economizers in the ski area’s walk-in coolers. The Freeaire system monitors temperatures inside and out, cycling clean, cold outside air through the cooler whenever possible, reducing refrigeration-related energy use by 50 percent. The grant will help bring A-Basin substantially closer to meeting its Climate Challenge goal of reducing GHG emissions by 3 percent below the 2009-10 baseline levels by 2020.
These cash grants, with a total value of $10,000, were made possible by generous donations from Colorado-based Ripple Resort Media and CLIF® Bar, based in California. “Ripple Resort Media supports sustainability in the ski industry and applauds the efforts of resorts to improve their environmental performance,” said Matt Jay, the company’s president. CLIF Bar has contributed to the Sustainable Slopes grant program for six years running. Lauren Hatfield, director of marketing at Clif Bar & Company, said, “As a company focused on maintaining climate-neutral business operations, we are pleased to support ski area projects making a positive impact on climate.”
Massachusetts-based HKD Snowmakers awarded a high-efficiency snowmaking grant to Alpine Meadows. The ski area will receive five high-efficiency snowmaking guns from HKD Snowmakers, a total value of $23,000.
“We at HKD are excited to assist Alpine Meadows in meeting their goals for the industry’s Climate Challenge through the use of our energy-efficient Impulse snowmaking equipment,” said Charles Santry, HKD Snowmakers president.
Past winners of the Sustainable Slopes grants include Alta Ski Area, Utah; Arapahoe Basin, Colo.; Beaver Valley Ski Club, Ontario; Canyons, Utah; Burke Mountain, Vt.; Copper Mountain, Colo.; Crested Butte, Colo.; Giants Ridge, Minn.; Grand Targhee, Wyo.; Greek Peak, New York; Mt. Abram, Maine; Mt. Ashland, Ore; Mt. Hood Meadows, Ore.; Oak Mountain, New York; Ober Gatlinburg, Tenn.; Spirit Mountain, Minn.; Stevens Pass, Wash.; Stratton, Vt.; Sugarbush Resort, Vt.; Tamarack, Idaho; and Telluride Ski & Golf, Colo.
Each of the winning programs will be highlighted in the 2015 Sustainable Slopes Annual Report, to be published in September 2015. For more information on NSAA’s Sustainable Slopes Grant program or to learn more about environmental initiatives and projects, visit the Environment section of nsaa.org.