Friday, September 20, 2019

CBMR’s “green” score upgraded

Ski resort getting higher marks on 2008 environmental report card

Although the ski lifts are run on green energy credits and solar hot water heaters are used in the Homestead affordable housing units, as far as the Ski Area Citizens Coalition is concerned, that isn’t enough for Crested Butte Mountain Resort to earn an A or B environmental scorecard rating. The coalition once again took points off CBMR’s score due to their plans for large expansions in real estate and terrain.

 

 

The Ski Area Citizens Coalition releases an environmental scorecard
for all of the major ski resorts in Colorado once a year, and for 2008
CBMR earned a C, which is good progress considering it earned a D in
2007 and an F in 2006.
According to a recent summary report released by the coalition,
“overall, Colorado ski resorts showed marked improvement with the
average score moving up from 59.7 percent last year to 63.4 percent this
year while four resorts improved their grades from last year. Crested
Butte showed the biggest improvement, increasing their score 15.2
points and moving from a D to a C this year. “
“Increased efforts to reduce
energy consumption
and increase energy efficiency
were important factors for the
improved scores, especially
for Crested Butte,” the report
said.
Nearby resorts like Aspen
and Telluride earned As again
this year, while others such as
Copper Mountain and Breckenridge
earned Fs.
CBMR chief executive officer
Ken Stone says for a developing
ski area with plans
for the future, the C grade is a
considerable improvement.
Stone says it becomes much
harder to get a higher rating “if
you’re a younger, less mature
resort that is still under development,
if you’re touching the
ground and digging dirt.”
Stone says going from a D
to a C is a good thing. “We’ve
made a big jump… When we
say there is a passion in this
community for preservation
and dedication,” citing the
branding study, “it really lies
on a new focus to cause less of
an impact, and take the initiative.”
Coalition president Hunter
Sykes says CBMR presented
some updated data at the last
minute that improved their
rating. “There was a lot of information
about things they do
regarding policy… almost all
things due to energy use and
transportation,” Sykes says.
CBMR planning director
John Sale says the new information
“is reflective of some
of the things we’ve been doing
over last two to three years that
really haven’t been accounted
for. It tries to paint a more upto-
date picture of what we’re
doing at the resort.” Sale says
the information included a description
of a resort-wide recycling
program, and efficient
construction and renewable
energy use at the new Homestead
affordable housing development.
“They still don’t do great
on expansion,” Sykes noted
of the proposed Snodgrass
terrain expansion, Teo 2 expansion,
Mountaineer Square
North development and others.
However, he said the resort
wasn’t graded as harshly
for Snodgrass this year because
it isn’t being developed yet.
Sykes says in previous years of
grading any proposed expansions
were weighed with the
same impact as current and
ongoing projects.
This year the coalition has
lightened up on proposed expansions,
and many resorts
across the state received improved
scores. Sykes said he
could understand why some
resorts felt grading proposed
development was unfair but,
“the fact they’re thinking about
it is noteworthy,” and it still
counts against the resorts to a
degree.
But the real reason many
resorts improved their scores
this year is a renewed focus on
energy and the environment.
Sykes says it’s a national trend.
“The last year and a half of rising
energy cost makes many
people say ‘Whoa, we need to
do something.’ It starts to dig
into what little profitability
there is in any service-based
business,” he says.
Sykes says the trend is also
in response to customer desires.
“Many ski resorts are responding
to the concerns of their customers.
It’s really heartening to
see—I hope it continues.”

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