Daily Editorial: Go really green | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: Go really green

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Vail’s now fully involved in the green-resort race.

Not content to buy wind-power credits and use solar power in its bus station, the town is working on a set of building policies that, among other things, would encourage developers to use alternative energy and recycled materials.

Vail Resorts, meanwhile, plans all sorts of green tweaks at the Ever Vail village, where toilets will flush with melted snow and small rotors in Gore Creek will power streetlights if the project is approved for west Lionshead.

What the town hasn’t decided is whether to make the rules law or just guidelines. In the latter case, while there will probably be heavy incentives for developers to build green, they could ultimately decide not to.

The town should require green building practices, not hope for volunteers. Fears of stifling development are likely unfounded ” because if there’s money to be made here, someone will make it, regardless of whether solar panels and worker housing is required as part of the next batch of zillion-dollar condos and timeshares.

One ski resort and its neighboring town won’t reverse global warming or halt air pollution, but the two Vails can start showing the high-profile developers ” who build massive, energy-gobbling projects all over the world ” that there has to be a new way of doing business.

Perhaps, Vail also can inspire Minturn to begin drawing up its own green-building code. The Ginn Company that wants to build a private ski resort says it may seek certification from a national green building program for its development.

That’s a start, and Minturn should go further in making sure the resort has as little impact on the empty forest that’s going to be torn up for mansions, winding drives and exclusive ski slopes.

” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board

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