Sponsored by Lane Powell

Resorts begin making greener snow

| Print |  Email
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Skilift.jpg

The snow in Oregon is getting greener. Across the state, more ski areas are joining an industrywide push to run their operations using renewable energy. But Oregon resorts have gone even further, giving customers the option to buy green energy along with their lift tickets.

In 2003, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort president Dave Riley partnered with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to purchase enough renewable energy to power one chairlift. Three seasons later, five Oregon resorts and a total of 20 in the region now run some of their operations on renewable energy.

“The program doubled from last season to this season,” said Patrick Nye, director of sales for BEF. “That’s what Mt. Hood Meadows has helped to influence.”

Mt. Bachelor, Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, Timberline Lodge and Mt. Ashland, a nonprofit resort, also purchase green power. This season, Mt. Ashland became the first resort in the Pacific Northwest to power all of its operations with renewable energy.

But doing the right thing comes at a price. According to Nye, it costs a ski resort about 10% more to buy green energy. Mt. Hood Meadows shells out about $6,000 extra a year to run two lifts. When Mt. Ashland made the jump, the resort paid for the difference between regular and green energy up front: $18,240 to cover the next three years. It was a big chunk of change for the small resort, which gets between 85,000 and 100,000 skier/boarder visits a year, compared to about 590,000 at Mt. Bachelor and about 500,000 at Mt. Hood Meadows.

The ski area has challenged visitors to pay back the resort for that investment through donations and “green” ticket upgrades.

Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood Meadows, Cooper Spur and Ski Anthony Lakes have a slightly different program, in which customers can buy Green Tags and Mini-Green Tags. Green Tags are a way of putting more renewable energy into the grid and offsetting the customers’ own greenhouse emissions from driving to and from the mountain.

One $20 Green Tag represents 1,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy going into the grid — enough to offset the emissions from about 10 average trips to and from the mountain. A Mini-Green Tag runs $2 and represents 100 kilowatt-hours. The money goes to the BEF, not to the ski area. So far, few ski areas outside Oregon offer Green Tags or a similar option.

“Oregon is leading by example,” says Geraldine Link, director of public policy for the National Ski Areas Association. “I’m trying to get other resorts to do what Oregon is doing.”

— Melissa Bearns



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Will Medford Ever Be Cool?

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY DAN COOK | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A real-estate developer and a Lithia Motors executive aim to revamp the city's forlorn downtown.


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


Read more...

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

Raising the Stakes

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.


Read more...

Chronicling Gov. Kitzhaber's march to resignation

The Latest
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
021115-kitzhaber-jekaplan14-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Recapping a wild week featuring plenty of will he or won't he resign drama.


Read more...

Closing the Gap: The two Oregons and the way forward

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

"Nostalgia is not an economic strategy."


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS