Durango Telegraph - The greening of winter
The greening of winter

Ski areas throughout the region are doing their best to ensure that “warm” and “dry” are words that miss future forecasts. Resorts are putting the focus on their greatest asset – the winter climate – by implementing and improving environmental programs.

At Durango Mountain Resort, environmental efforts begin with alternative energy. Bio-fuels are used in all vehicle fleets and machines, both on and off mountain.

Purgatory also has a resortwide recycling program and recycles all construction material.

In support of alternative transportation, DMR sees high participation in its employee carpool program, with incentives ranging from $7-$10 per day. The resort also recently instituted the Carpool Parking Lot, offering free close-in parking for carpoolers. The resort also

partnered with Colorado Wild recently, in order to lighten the environmental footprint of its planned main mountain improvements.

At Telluride Ski Resort, environmental stewardship begins with renewable energy, recycling and alternative transportation. Telluride Ski Resort uses renewable energy credits to offset 1,000,000 kWh of electricity each and uses biodiesel in some on-mountain machinery. Resort restaurants now use natural sugar cane to-go containers and several mountain operations have gone paperless. At the forefront of alternative transportation is Telluride’s gondola system which serves approximately 3 million guests per year. 

Wolf Creek Ski Area offsets all of its electrical usage and harnesses sunshine to power its small outlying

buildings. Wolf Creek is also in the process of LEED certifying one of its new buildings, the Raven Day Use Building. Not only does Wolf Creek recycle kitchen oil, heavy equipment oil, steel, aluminum, cardboard, paper, batteries, old uniforms, ink jet cartridges, office equipment and phone books, but they are working to get ski boot manufactures to recycle old plastic ski boots. The area has also introduced a new and free carpool service.

At the no frills ski area of Silverton Mountain, reduce, reuse and recycle is the mantra. The entire ski area has been built with recycled products, which were either donated and/or purchased used from other areas around the country.

– Will Sands

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows