Friday, March 02, 2007

Ski-Resort Owner To Go "Green"

DENVER - Vail Resorts Inc., which owns Heavenly at Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, plans to unveil a new environmental initiative Monday, March 5.

In 2006, the company started using wind power to generate all the electricity at its ski areas, hotels, retail locations and new corporate headquarters at Broomfield's Interlocken office park. The resort owner says it's now the second-largest U.S. company to use 100 percent wind power.

In addition to its new wind-power initiative, Vail Resorts has water conservation, recycling and wildlife habitat management programs. The company works with the National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit group affiliated with the U.S. Forest Service, to fund conservation projects such as improving White River National Forest.

The resort owner now gets its power through wind-power broker Renewable Choice Energy Inc. of Boulder, Colo. Vail purchases wind energy credits from Renewable, since wind farms can't physically deliver wind-powered electricity to Vail properties. Renewable, in turn, buys credits from wind farms nationwide, including ones in Colorado.

Vail Resorts' use of wind power cuts some 211 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Vail Resorts also owns Colorado's Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts. The resort company also owns the Grand Teton Lodge Co. of Jackson Hole, Wyo., and luxury-hotel operator RockResorts.

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