Steamboat Springs Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. has received the ski industry's top award for environmental stewardship.
Ski Corp. was given the 2014 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence during the National Ski Areas Associations' national convention last week.
The awards are given annually to a small, medium and large ski area. Ski Corp. received the large ski area award. Arapahoe Basin was the medium ski area winner and Proctor Academy, a private school in New Hampshire, won the small ski area award.
The winners are selected with the help of SKI Magazine.
"When SKI founded this program in 1993, we wanted to encourage sustainability and recognize resorts for their commitment and proven results to environmental programs," SKI Magazine Publisher Andy Bigford stated in a news release. "It's gratifying to see how far the industry has come in 20 years, particularly with today's collective focus on addressing climate change."
Ski Corp. won praise for the construction of the new $5 million Four Points Lodge, which was built using LEED principles. The lodge has low-flow fixtures, efficient windows, composting, carbon dioxide sensors in the ventilation system along with energy-efficient light fixtures.
Ski Corp. also was recognized for the energy efficient Ultra-Tech Lighting that was installed as part of a $1 million project to light up the lower mountain area for night skiing.
The bulbs are rated to last for 100,000 hours. That is the equivalent of running constantly for more than 11 years.
Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations, has said the system uses one-third of the amount of electricity typical lighting systems use. The electricity needed to run the system is well below the amount used to power a ski lift.
According to Ski Corp., new snowmaking equipment reduced energy consumption by 30 percent and cut water usage. Also during the past year, more efficient groomers were purchased that helped decrease fuel consumption, and helicopter logging was used to limit the disturbance to the land while 23 more acres of dead lodgepole pine trees were removed.
“Our focus on environmental sustainability has evolved over many years with hard work, thoughtfulness and a team approach culminating with the combined on-mountain projects this past year,” Allen said in a news release. “We hope this recognition will inspire others to join us, in our area and beyond, to take action and make a difference whether they are just starting out or already focus on sustainability.”
Also during the National Ski Areas Associations conference, Ski Corp. won the Safety Award for Best Use of Web/New media with its #BuddyUp social media campaign.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland