Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NSAA Announces 2011 Sustainable Slopes Grant Winners

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) today named six member ski areas as the recipients of its annual Sustainable Slopes Grant program. Grant recipients include Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, Beaver Valley Ski Club in Ontario, Canada, Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon, Oak Mountain, New York, Stevens Pass Resort, Washington and Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont. Of the six grants awarded, four are cash grants for innovative sustainability projects. With funding from the grant program, Arapahoe Basin will implement a lighting retrofit of all of its base area buildings, resulting in an estimated reduction of 53,042 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually and a utility savings of $4,509. Mt. Hood Meadows will purchase and install water bottle refilling stations in the ski area’s highest traffic areas to encourage guests to reduce the use of plastic, disposable water bottles. Stratton will purchase and install four solar compactors to reduce the number of trips necessary to perform waste removal at the resort by 80 percent, in turn reducing the resort’s GHG emissions. Stevens Pass will expand on its existing and cutting edge electrical vehicle program by incorporating charging for additional vehicle types including utility runabouts (UTVs) and snowmobiles. These four cash grants were made possible by donations from program sponsors CLIF Bar & Co., a California-based energy bar maker, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
"These grants are a great vehicle for not only implementing new green projects at U.S. ski areas, but also for sharing best practices as they relate to environmental programs both within and outside our industry", says NSAA President Michael Berry.
This year, two in-kind high-efficiency snowmaking system grants provided by Massachusetts-based snowmaking equipment manufacturer Snow Economics/HKD Snowmakers were awarded to Oak Mountain and Beaver Valley. Each ski area will receive five high-efficiency snowmaking guns from Snow Economics/HKD Snowmakers, a total value of $40,000.
"HKD is committed to sustainability and we are thrilled to be a part of the Sustainable Slopes Grant Program again this year. We look forward to working with Oak Mountain and Beaver Valley to support their sustainability goals of greater snowmaking efficiency", says Snow Economics President Charles Santry.
Past winners of the Sustainable Slopes grants included Alta, Utah, Crested Butte, Colo., Grand Targhee, Wyo., Mt. Abram, Maine, and Stevens Pass, Wash. in 2010. Winners in 2009 included Copper Mountain, Colo., Grand Targhee, Wyo., and Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort.
The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 329 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has over 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods and services to the mountain resort industry.

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