Friday, May 11, 2018

Bear Valley, Boreal Mountain, and Crystal Mountain Win SKI Magazine Golden Eagle Awards

SKI Magazine has honored three ski areas—Bear Valley Mountain, California; Crystal Mountain, Michigan, and Boreal Mountain, California—with 2018 Golden Eagle Awards. In addition, SKI named Sha Miklas of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colorado, as the "Hero of Sustainability" honoree for 2018.
The Golden Eagle Awards, overseen in a partnership between SKI and the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), are the ski industry’s most prestigious honor for recognizing resort environmental initiatives. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Golden Eagle Awards, "a momentous occasion to be celebrated by all of the award recipients over the past two-and-a-half decades and the entire ski industry", said Andy Hawk, managing director of Active Interest Media’s Mountain Group. Added Kelly Pawlak, NSAA president/CEO, "NSAA thanks SKI Magazine for its longstanding commitment to these awards and for shining a spotlight on exemplary resort sustainability efforts".
New this year, the Innovation in Sustainability Award went to Bear Valley Mountain for its renewable energy-powered “eco-glamping” experience for guests. Bear Valley created a unique and educational glamping experience for guests in canvas tents overlooking the Mokelumne River Canyon on National Forest lands. Each tent was equipped with an off-grid Nature Power 1800 watt solar and wind energy-generating system to power CFL lamps or recharge cell phones, and portable restrooms in the “glampground” had a solar-powered low-wattage LED light for nighttime. Guests received rechargeable fluorescent lanterns for walking around, and access to free shuttles to the Village and nearby Alpine Lake along with solar-powered rechargeable “eco-bikes” to tour the area.
Also new this year, the Climate Change Impact Award went to Crystal Mountain for its leadership on climate change advocacy and action. Crystal’s Jim and Chris MacInnes have worked with their utility to have 56 percent of the resort’s power sourced from clean energy sources; installed public EV charging stations; constructed a LEED-certified spa building; and most recently constructed a closed loop geothermal heating and cooling project as part of an $11 million expansion of the Inn at the Mountain. Their leadership on climate advocacy and mitigation is exemplary in the tourism industry and beyond.
Boreal Mountain earned the 2018 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence for its Tahoe Solar initiative and outreach and long-standing climate solutions work. Boreal has always set the bar high on environmental performance, reducing 790 tons of carbon annually since 2008. A founding member of the NSAA Climate Challenge, Boreal offsets 100 percent of its energy use with RECs, and most recently installed 715 solar panels on its Woodward Tahoe facility. This 235-kilowatt system is the largest rooftop array in the California ski industry and the equivalent of removing 52 cars from the road. As Boreal and Woodward Tahoe are youth-centric brands, the resort’s outreach and branding of this “Tahoe Solar” project is helping influence younger generations on their role in sustainability. 
Sha Miklas is this year’s Hero of Sustainability for bringing sustainability practices and environmental responsibility to the forefront at Arapahoe Basin, Colorado Miklas has created a culture of sustainability that permeates from upper management all the way down to first-year, line-level employees, which has helped make A-Basin the leader in sustainability that it is today. As a result of Miklas’ hard work, 75 percent of the ski area’s guests report that they are familiar with A-Basin’s sustainability efforts and are drawn to the resort because of them. She also serves as president of the board of trustees for the High Country Conservation Center, enhancing her influence on waste reduction and resource conservation beyond the ski area and throughout Summit County.

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