As winter fast approaches, the snow will beckon many of us to the mountains to play – but what if there was another reason to support your local ski resort? This month the Mountain Rider’s Alliance (MRA) announced a new partnership with sustainable engineering firm Brendle Group which will transform Colorado’s ski mountains into carbon-neutral, net-zero resorts.
The grassroots MRA hopes to promote alternative business models for small and medium-sized resorts through this new partnership with the Brendle Group. They will develop specific plans and strategies for carbon-neutral, net-zero ski resorts. This plan will be put into action on Maine’s Mt. Abram ski resort, which won the 2012 Golden Eagle ski industry sustainability award. Mt. Abram’s will be provided with a comprehensive assessment of energy, water, land-use and community sustainability. Mt. Abram has already been very active in sustainable action planning and currently has a solar energy array planned for their ski area.
The Brendle Group has a very successful track record in Colorado, with particular experience in the ski industry. They have helped the National Ski Areas Association with the development of the Sustainable Slopes program, and have recently helped to develop the Ski Area Climate Challenge. Ski towns like Steamboat Springs have seen improvements from their work with the Brendle Group, and it is likely that many other ski towns will be turning to this partnership in the future. The partnership hopes to bring a holistic plan to the industry so that through this sustainable planning approach, ski areas will save money and help the environment at the same time.