Thursday, May 1, 2014

NSAA Announces 2014 Sustainable Slopes Grant Winners

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) today named four member ski areas as the recipients of its annual Sustainable Slopes Grant program. Grant recipients include Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Stevens Pass, Washington; Stratton, Vermont; and Tamarack Mountain Resort, Idaho. 
Tamarack Mountain Resort received a cash grant for an erosion reduction project to benefit nearby Lake Cascade. With funding from the grant program, Tamarack will revegetate three ski runs with native seed blends and plant a 1,000 square foot “FIREWISE” Garden to educate guests about the importance of defensible landscaping to prevent fires and resulting erosion. This cash grant was made possible by a generous donation from CLIF Bar based in California. "We are thrilled to support Tamarack’s efforts to improve water quality and educate the public through the unique “FIREWISE” Garden project" says CLIF Bar’s Ryan Mayo.
Two in-kind high-efficiency snowmaking system grants provided by Massachusetts-based HKD Snowmakers were awarded to Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area in Tennessee and Stratton, Vermont. Each ski area will receive 5 high-efficiency snowmaking guns from HKD Snowmakers, a total value of $40,000. "HKD views sustainability as a high priority for the ski industry and we look forward to working with Ober Gatlinburg and Stratton to achieve immediate energy savings through the application of our equipment", says HKD Snowmakers President, Charles Santry.
Stevens Pass received an in-kind grant for sustainability consulting services with emphasis on return on investment. Brendle Group, a Colorado--based sustainability engineering firm, will provide the services with a value of $5,000. "Stevens Pass has been a leader on sustainability for years, and Brendle Group looks forward to working with them to identify even more opportunities for efficiency and cost savings at the resort" says Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group principal and founder.
"These grants are a great vehicle for implementing sustainability projects at U.S. ski areas and in particular those projects that reduce ski area carbon emissions and address climate change", says NSAA President Michael Berry. Past winners of the Sustainable Slopes grants include Alta Ski Area, Utah; Arapahoe Basin, Colo.; Beaver Valley Ski Club, Ontario; Canyons, Utah; Burke Mountain, Vermont; Copper Mountain, Colo.; Crested Butte, Colo.; Giants Ridge, Minn.; Grand Targhee, Wyo.; Greek Peak, New York; Mt. Abram, Maine; Mt. Ashland, Oregon; Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon; Oak Mountain, New York; Spirit Mountain, Minnesota; Stevens Pass, Wash.; Stratton, Vermont; Sugarbush Resort, Vermont; and Telluride Ski & Golf, Colorado.
Each of the winning programs will be highlighted in the 2014 Sustainable Slopes Annual Report, to be published in September, 2014.

Sustainable Slopes Grant Program
Launched in 2009, the grant program provides cash and in-kind funding to support sustainability projects at NSAA member ski areas.
Since 2010, HKD Turbo, a snowmaking technology company and supplier to NSAA based in Massachusetts, has donated $120,000 worth of high-efficiency snow guns to deserving resorts as part of the program. HKD has committed an additional $40,000 this year, and through Brendle Group's donation, 2012 winners will receive an additional $5,000 per resort in sustainability services including a utility analysis and customized on-site energy audit.
Brendle Group's support will help extend cost savings from the new HKD Turbo snowmaking equipment to other identified energy efficiency and peak load management opportunities.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

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