Utah ski industry sees ‘renaissance’ with partnerships and additions

<p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes in Utah this season are likely to notice some significant changes.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Vail Resorts Inc. has purchased the</span> <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/article_a628f234-7400-11e4-9b86-87783678281b.html” target=”_blank”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>largest ski area in the state</span></a><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>, Park City Mountain Resort, allowing for what may become the largest ski area in the country. Next year, the company plans to link Park City by chair lift to Canyons Resort, which it already owns.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>But this year, winter sports enthusiasts can gain access to both areas with a single ticket. It also means that two Utah ski resorts will be included in Vail’s well-known EpicPass, which covers 22 ski areas across the globe.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“That shines a pretty bright spotlight on Utah,” Nathan Rafferty, president of the trade group Ski Utah, told the</span> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Associated Press.</span> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“We’re on the cusp of Utah ski industry 3.0 with a new and exciting few years coming up for us.”</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Utah’s 15th resort — and the first new one since 1981 — <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_b8f1e1ee-6e80-11e4-8cdb-c3af3c69d9b3.html” target=”_blank”>is also set to open</a>. Called Cherry Peak, it will offer three lifts, a three-lane tubing hill and an ice skating rink.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>State officials have launched a $1.8 million campaign to brand Salt Lake City as “Ski City USA,” and are hoping to lure tourists with a European-style ski experience.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“In a lot of ways, it’s kind of a renaissance for the Utah ski scene,” said Andy Miller, Park City Mountain Resort spokesperson.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Environmental Concerns</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Not everyone, however, is so sanguine about the growing ski industry.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that when it comes to carbon footprint, the ski industry wears big boots,” Melanie Haiken wrote for TakePart Dec. 8.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Ski resorts are known for drawing massive amounts of power in order to operate lifts, night lighting and snow machines, as well as to keep guests comfortable in lodges. Slope clearing can also contribute to soil erosion and habitat endangerment.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>This places the winter sports industry in something of a catch-22; it’s an industry contributing to</span> <span style=”text-decoration: none;”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>human-induced climate change</span></span><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>, and yet shorter winters and lower snow levels decrease revenues by more than $1 billion annually, according to a 2012 report from the National Resources Defense Council.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>The industry, therefore, is rapidly trying to discover the best ways to reduce environmental impacts without sacrificing profits.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Greener Solutions</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Many environmental experts argue that the easiest way to get people involved in conservation efforts is to show them that green alternatives don’t necessitate big sacrifices.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Just using a programmable thermostat, for example, can</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.starionenergy.com/Save-Energy-Without-Lifestyle-Inconveniences-12042014.ashx”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>save 10% of energy use</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>and utility costs on annual heating and cooling.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Similar concepts — focusing on boosting efficiency and finding smarter solutions, rather than eliminating preferences or beloved activities — can apply in the skiing world as well. When the</span> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>New York Times</span> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”><a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/science/12slopes.html?_r=0″ target=”_blank”>reported on the issue in 2010</a>, it found that “Some ski slopes … are more environmentally friendly than others.”</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>There are a number of green ski resorts in Utah. They focus on replanting disrupted areas, using green building methods for hospitality areas and increasing energy efficiency. Winter sports enthusiasts can even join the initiatives by choosing sustainably produced gear.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“Skiers are out there enjoying the outdoors, often in harsh conditions, and we’d at least like to think of ourselves as green,” Paul Joyce, the leader of a green skiing coalition in Colorado, told the</span> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Times</span><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>. “It’s incumbent on the industry to make this the experience.”</span></p>

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