First Time Resort Honored With Prestigious Golden Eagle Award
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO-May 9, 2014-The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation was awarded the 2014 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence during the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) National Convention this past week. The Golden Eagle Awards are the ski industry’s most prestigious honor for recognizing resort environmental programs and projects.
“We are thrilled to be recognized with this prestigious honor and our first Golden Eagle Award,” said Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “To be acknowledged for environmental efforts which help sustain our year round playground speaks to our staff’s dedication, commitment and drive to make a difference, and is another example of how Steamboat is continuously working to provide the best experience for our guests and our community.”
Steamboat received the Golden Eagle Award in the large resort category for making sustainability a cornerstone of its most significant on-mountain improvement project in nearly a decade. In constructing the $5 million Four Points on-mountain restaurant, located at 9,716 feet with panoramic views, Steamboat incorporated LEED principles throughout, from low-flow fixtures to low-energy insulated windows, composting, automatic CO2 sensors in the HVAC system, and LED and fluorescent indoor light fixtures. For the addition of night skiing, the resort installed state-of-the-art Ultra-Tech™ Lighting, which limits light pollution and saves energy.
In upgrading its snowmaking, Steamboat installed a new main line on the Heavenly Daze trail that in conjunction with HKD tower guns cut energy consumption by 30 percent and also reduced water usage. The resort’s new Prinoth “Beast” and “Bison” grooming machines decreased fuel consumption and increased efficiencies. Meanwhile, the resort continued its Healthy Forest focus by removing 23 acres of dead lodge pole pines, utilizing a helicopter to limit the ground footprint while also reducing soil erosion and sedimentation in streams.
“Our focus on environmental sustainability has evolved over many years with hard work, thoughtfulness and a team approach culminating with the combined on-mountain projects this past year,” commented Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for the resort. “We hope this recognition will inspire others to join us, in our area and beyond, to take action and make a difference whether they are just starting out or already focus on sustainability.”
Established in 1993, the Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize the environmental achievements of ski areas. The awards are sponsored by SKI Magazine. Judges for this year’s awards include Andy Bigford and Greg Ditrinco, SKI Magazine; Tiffany Beal, International Mountain Bicycling Association; Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group; Ryan Mayo, CLIF Bar & Company; Geraldine Link, NSAA; Don Dressler, USDA – Forest Service; and Kirk Mills, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
“When SKI founded this program in 1993, we wanted to encourage sustainability and recognize resorts for their commitment and proven results to environmental programs,” said Andy Bigford, SKI’s publisher and the general manager of Active Interest Media’s Mountain Group. “It’s gratifying to see how far the industry has come in 20 years, particularly with today’s collective focus on addressing climate change.”
The resort awards are divided into three categories: small (fewer than 200,000 annual skier/boarder visits), medium (200,000 to 500,000 visits) and large (more than 500,000 visits). Three ski areas-Steamboat, CO (large), Arapahoe Basin, CO (medium), and Proctor Academy, NH (small)-were awarded with the 2014 Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence. Find out more about Steamboat’s sustainability programs at www.steamboat.com/the-mountain/sustainability.
In related news, the NSAA Safety Award for Best Use of Web/New Media also went to Steamboat for its #BuddyUp social media campaign this past winter during NSAA National Safety Month. These awards recognize exceptional resort initiatives to educate guests and employees about skiing and snowboarding responsibly.