Mt. A ski area honored for energy conservation

Mt. Ashland Ski Area won the Silver Eagle Environmental Award for Excellence in Energy Conservation/Clean Energy at the National Ski Areas Association convention held May 6-9 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Last September, Mt. Ashland signed a three-year deal with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation purchasing enough renewable energy to offset 100 percent of its electrical use each year through the 2008-09 season. Mt. Ashland agreed to purchase 780,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy investments from the foundation each season through the contract period, enough energy to run the lifts, lights, lodges and the Ashland business office.

Mt. Ashland then asked its guests to make renewable energy donations, making them the actual renewable energy investors. The ski area put the package deal together, then relied on the environmental commitment of its guests to financially carry the program. To participate in the program, season pass holders were given the opportunity to make a $20 donation. What they received for their $20 "Green Chair Renewable Energy" upgrade was a green colored pass that identified them as a renewable energy supporter. Lift ticket buyers also had an option to make a $1 donation to receive a Green Chair lift ticket.

Mt. Ashland General Manager Kim Clark was on hand to accept the award. "

The City of Ashland also benefits from the program. For every one thousand kilowatt hours that Mt. Ashland purchases, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation will invest $1 in the Ashland Renewable Pioneers program, a partnership formed between the City of Ashland and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Mt. Ashland's investment this year will add $780 to the Ashland Renewable Pioneers project and $2,340 over the three year contract period.

The three finalists for the Energy Conservation/Clean Energy award were Durango Mountain Resort in Colorado, Mt. Ashland, and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont. Mt. Ashland was also a finalist for a Silver Eagle Environmental Award in Environmental Education for its Winter Science education program.

This is Mt. Ashland's second national environmental award. In 1991, Mt. Ashland won a Silver Eagle in Environmental Education for its Youth Summer Service Program. To learn more about Mt. Ashland's environmental charter and other Mt. Ashland environmental programs visit: /SectionIndex.asp'SectionID=8.

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