Sponsored by Oregon Business

Resorts begin making greener snow

| Print |  Email
Archives - March 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007

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

The Love Boat

November/December 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vigor’s values don’t stop at truth. Walk into a company office, conference room or on any shipyard site and you’ll most likely see a poster inscribed with the words “Truth. Responsibility. Evolution. Love.” Otherwise known as TREL, Vigor’s culture code and the prominence it is accorded can be a bit surprising to the unsuspecting shipyard visitor.


Photos: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon awards dinner

The Latest
Thursday, October 01, 2015
100best202thumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.


100 Best Nonprofits announced

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1015-nonprofits01Oregon Business magazine has named the seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon. The rankings were revealed Wednesday night during an awards dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.


The List: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For project attracted more than 150 nonprofits from around the state from a variety of sectors, including social services and environmental advocacy.  More than 5,000 employees and volunteers filled out the survey, rating their satisfaction with work environment, mission and goals, career development and learning, benefits and compensation, and management and communications.


The death and life of American cities

Linda Baker
Monday, November 02, 2015
housingoldpdx thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The hollowing out of the American city is now a bona fide cultural meme.  Newspapers, magazines and digital media sites are publishing story after story about the morphing of urban grit and diversity into bastions of wealth and commodity culture.


Video: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon 2015

The Latest
Monday, October 05, 2015
100-best-NP-logo-2015-video-thumbVIDEO BY JESSE LARSON

Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.


Keep Pendleton Weird

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Eastern Oregon marketers refocus rural assets through an urban lens.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02