NSAA launches ‘Keep Winter Cool’ campaign | VailDaily.com

NSAA launches ‘Keep Winter Cool’ campaign

Bob Berwyn

Skiers and snowboarders, it seems, have as much at stake as anybody when it comes to global climate change. After all, without snow, we’d all have to go water skiing or surfing. Acknowledging the issue, the National Ski Areas Association will highlight its climate change policy during the upcoming Sustainable Slopes outreach day, set for Feb. 22.The objective of the NSAA’s educational efforts is to raise awareness about resort environmental programs and remind guests how they too can help with environmental stewardship. The “Keep Winter Cool” message will encourage resort guests to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with climate change by purchasing wind power for their home; carpooling, driving an efficient car or riding shuttles; purchasing energy-efficient appliances for their home; and turning off lights and turning down heat when leaving a room at the resort or at home.Resorts also will show guests that they take a variety of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their operations, like adopting and applying green building principles for new construction; conducting energy “retrofits” of existing facilities; purchasing wind power to run lifts or buildings and using alternative fuels in resort transportation fleets.Stratton’s premium pass raising eyebrowsVermont’s Barre Montepelier Times Argus reports that Intrawest-owned Stratton Mountain is offering a special program that allows big spenders to cut lift lines. Copper Mountain, also owned by Intrawest, ran into some flak when it started marketing a similar program early this season before getting U.S. Forest Service approval.Stratton’s exclusive instructor program is available for $8,900, enabling six guests and a private “coach” to use a separate lift line. The price does not include a daily pass, which at $72 is the priciest in the country.Resort officials tried to put a positive spin on the program by saying they could offer discount rates and focus on volume which would, of course, increase crowding. Instead, the resort drives revenue with its VIP programs, according to Michael Cobb, Stratton’s vice president of marketing and sales. “You can make the argument it’s enhancing the experience for everyone because people are coming to a mountain that’s not overly crowded,” Cobb said in an interview with the Times Argus.Australian wildfires destroy resort homesColorado is not the only place suffering through a drought. A dry spell in Australia set the stage for recent fires that burned six houses at Mount Hotham, one of the country’s best-known mountain resorts. Ten more homes were destroyed in nearby villages, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.The fires have been burning for weeks in the state of Victoria, in the southeastern part of the country. Officials said that, given the dangerous weather, things could have been even worse. Temperatures have ranged upwards of 100 degrees with winds blowing at more than 40 mph. Thousands of firefighters have been battling the blazes, burning so hot they twisted metal and blistered the paint off fire trucks, according to the Morning Herald.Fireworks scheduled to celebrate Australia Day, when the first European settlers arrived in 1778, were canceled for fear they would ignite fires in Sydney.Mt. Crested Butte inks housing policyMt. Crested Butte will require developers to do more in the way of creating affordable housing, the Crested Butte News reports. Under an ordinance passed Jan. 21, developers will have to build 15 percent of their total development as deed-restricted community housing, targeted at residents with incomes between 80 percent and 120 percent of the area median income, according to the News.Pointing out a surplus of existing units, one council member said developers should be allowed to buy existing units to meet their obligations under the ordinance, as was permitted under a previous affordable housing ordinance. Resolution of that issue is still pending, according to the News.Gunnison County cloud seeding to startNearly mid-way through another relatively dry winter, Gunnison County is about to join other parts of Colorado in an attempt to manipulate Mother Nature and wring a bit more moisture from passing storms. The county’s cloud-seeding program is set to begin in early February, the Creste Butte News reports.A local coordinator has been hired to manage the program, which involves placing silver-iodide generators on private land and turning them on when conditions are optimal. County officials hope to increase precipitation by 10 to 20 percent with the program, at a cost of $85,000 per year, according to the News.Locals say get ridof ugly lodgeThe Winter Park Manifest reports that local citizens have called for the demolition of the James Peak Lodge, an unfinished development in the Grand Country resort town. Work on the lodge stopped three years ago, according to the Manifest. Residents presented a petition at a recent town council meeting, calling for removal of the eyesore.”We are sick and tired having this eyesore downtown, which detracts from the efforts of every other business person trying to earn a living,” one resident said during a public hearing.According to the petition, the structure is a “public nuisance.” Construction permits require that work be completed within a year of issuance. Town officials said the goal is to have a building permit pulled by the developer by this spring and to have construction re-commence by summer.Winter Park’s mayor said the town is not obligated to tear the structure down and explained that he did not want to destroy what was built without giving the new owner, Premier Property Resorts of Utah, a real chance to move forward on the project.Aspen’s Winter X games exempt fromsmoking ad banWhile winter sports athletes line up for some smokin’ action on the snow, ESPN will be allowed to use tobacco companies as sponsors even though the Aspen Skiing Company has a policy that prohibits tobacco advertising on its four hills, the Aspen Daily News reports.But there’s a twist to this story Lorillard, the North Carolina-based maker of Newport and Kent cigarettes, is a sponsor of the X Games and will pitch its anti-smoking youth campaign “Tobacco is whacko if you’re a teen” at the event, under a law that requires the industry to spend part of its advertising money on discouraging kids from using tobacco.According to the Daily News, some anti-tobacco activists think the SkiCo should stand up to ESPN and disallow the tobacco sponsorship. “Part of our concern is we certainly wish the Aspen Skiing Company would make a stronger statement to ESPN that this is something they do not want to see,” Chris Sherwin, executive director of the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance, said in an interview with the Daily News.– compiled by Bob Berwyn

Support Local Journalism