How Vail and Rock Resorts clean up the environment

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 16, 2010 10:50 am

We live in a filthy, polluted world, no doubt. With climate change, storm drains, litterbugs and the like, it seems a lot of us treat this planet like our personal waste basket.

Well, Vail Resorts doesn’t. Neither does RockResorts.

RockResorts was founded by Laurence Rockefeller in 1956. He wanted to link iconic locations in the country with environmental friendliness. His programs are perhaps best displayed at Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek, both part of Vail Resorts.

Vail was one of the first ski resorts to implement an on-mountain recycling program, and it remains the largest one in the world. The resort conserves energy by implementing solar panels on the roof of Bailey’s restaurant and solar-powered trash compactors. Also, at Keystone, an average of more than 50 tons of waste is saved every year through a composting program. Additionally, at all of Vail’s resorts, employees abide by the IdleWise program—which limits the idling of company vehicles to less than five minutes.

Breckenridge will be the next ski area to welcome RockResorts programs. A new building, One Ski Hill, has been constructed according to Green Globe’s rating system. Also in the planning stages is Ever Vail, a mixed-use neighborhood development that will use geothermal, micro-hydro turbines and other renewable energy projects. The property is one of the first to be accepted into the LEED neighborhood program, and is expected to receive Platinum status.

“We’ve seen a natural progression of the customer experience at our properties as more travelers are willing to help and commit to eco-friendly practices,” Paul Toner, COO of RockResorts, said. “The majority are leisure travelers who want to feel they can give something back, and we want to provide such opportunities to them.”