Steamboat Ski Area rates poorly on environmental scorecard | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Ski Area rates poorly on environmental scorecard

Michael Schrantz

— Steamboat Ski Area ranks among the worst five Western resorts for environmental practices in the newest Ski Area Environmental Scorecard.

The 11th annual scorecard was compiled by the Sierra Nevada Alliance on behalf of the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition, according to a news release.

Steamboat Ski Area received a D grade with 55.9 percent of the available points. The ski area received a B grade last year.

The scorecard is weighted heavily against resort expansion and expects a number of proactive resource efficiency efforts.

The planned second phase of expansion along Pioneer Ridge, which has been a part of the ski area's master plan since 1996 but never completed, lost Steamboat a significant number of points. The expansion — carried forward in an updated master plan amendment — would increase terrain access from the Pony Express chairlift, the least-used lift at the ski area, according to the master plan. Planned real estate expansion by Intrawest also counted against the ski area.

Steamboat Ski Area lost points for expanding snowmaking, not producing renewable energy on-site and not using biodiesel in diesel equipment, among other categories.

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The ski area performed best in the watershed protection category, receiving 70.3 percent of the available points.

Also among the worst five resorts according to the scorecard were Colorado resorts Breckenridge Ski Resort and Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area.

Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain ski resorts represented Colorado in the scorecard's top 10 resorts.

Steamboat Ski Area officials did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

By the numbers

Best resort scores

  1. Park City, A (93 percent)
  2. Deer Valley, A (89.6 percent)
  3. Aspen Highlands, A (88.3 percent)
  4. Aspen Mountain, A (87.4 percent)
  5. The Canyons, A (86.3 percent)

Worst resort scores

  1. Arizona Snowbowl, D (42.2 percent)
  2. Breckenridge, D (53.7 percent)
  3. Steamboat, D (55.9 percent)
  4. Monarch, D (56.5 percent)
  5. Eldora, D (57 percent)

Source: Ski Area Environmental Scorecard

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