New England Ski Resorts Reduce Environmental Impact

Mitch Flores | | Industry NewsIndustry News
energy efficient
Snow machines at Mount Snow. Image: Mike Roth

In recent years we have seen many ski resorts make strides in reducing their carbon footprint. An industry that relies on weather has become much more aware of their contributions to climate change. Resorts are now doing what they can to minimize their impact.

Vermont ski resorts are doing their part to become more eco-friendly. Mount Snow and Bolton Valley have been working to upgrade their snowmaking machinery to become more efficient.

At Bolton Valley, 20 new snow guns have been purchased and positioned lower on the mountain to increase efficiency. They rebuilt their water pumps and bought a new electric Atlas air compressor. Bolton also retrofitted their snow guns with more efficient heads. These improvements have saved 176,291 kWh and 171 tons of C02 per year.

Snow making process
Image shows how compressed air and cold water must be combined to break up the water into tiny particles that turn to ice, then snow. Image:

Mount Snow has recently installed low-energy snowmaking guns that operate on as little as one-hundredth of the compressed air needed on the old models. According to Rebecca Foster, director of Efficiency Vermont, new energy efficient snowmaking guns can operate for 10 cents an hour compared to older models which operated for $10 an hour.

Around the country, we have seen numerous resorts make the pledge to “go green”.  Squaw Valley has announced the switch to 100% renewable energy as early as December 2018. Three New York owned ski areas (Whiteface, Gore, and Belleayre) have committed to 100% renewable sources by 2030. Vail Resorts has an “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint” by 2030. The K-1 Express Gondola and Peak Lodge a Killington are powered by manure from local dairy farms, that oughta raise some stink!

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