On Sept 5, the Steamboat Today carried the Associated Press article "Ski Resorts Go Green" about the environmental business practices for ski areas in America. It highlighted various good deeds accomplished by Colorado ski areas. What it did not contain was how our own Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. was responding to these new business practices.
In a word: poorly.
According to Ski Area Citizens, SSRC scored a "D" - 105 out of a possible 215 points. The criteria for these scores are comprehensive. Factors considered were recycling, transit, water quality and conservation, energy conservation and much more. Details are available at http://betterworldclub.com/travel/ski.htm.
SSRC did well in categories like preserving water quality, protecting old-growth trees and avoiding new road building. To receive a "D" rating, our ski resort failed in many other areas. These include: energy efficient retrofits, 0 percent; use of biofuels, 0 percent; incentives for carpooling or mass transit, 0 percent; recycling, 7 percent. These are abysmal numbers. Even the ski area's much-touted wind and solar power purchases only rate it a 33 percent in this comprehensive scorecard.
Vail's recent announcement of renewable energy purchases to offset 100 percent of its consumption and Aspen's open discussion of global warming's effect on the future of Colorado's ski industry are shining examples of ski resorts leading the way to a for cleaner environment. Many industries are realizing the financial payback (real and through publicity) of investing in cleaner and more efficient operations. I'd like to see Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. or its new owners step up to the plate and put its money where our mountain is.