Everything but the trail maps: Vail Resorts to go paperless

Vail Resorts on Monday announced a green initiative to dramatically reduce its $1-million-a-year annual paper budget, but for now will keep printing trail maps skiers and snowboarders can stash in a coat pocket, according to the Vail Daily.

The state’s biggest ski company — owner of Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Heavenly (Calif.), Keystone and Vail — has been on a major enviro-tear the last few years, becoming the 25th largest buyer of wind energy credits in the nation, announcing a billion-dollar green-built (LEED-certified) base village called Ever Vail and dramatically chopping its power consumption.

Aspen Skiing Company officials have been more vocal and politically active on the global-warming front, testifying before Congress and backing green candidates in local rural electric co-op board of directors elections, but Vail has been making major strides under the fairly recent tenure of CEO Rob Katz.

Last year Katz announced “energy layoffs” aimed at reducing by 10 percent the $25 million per year the company spends on energy. Monday he announced the company cut energy consumption by 6.1 percent in the previous year and was on track to meet the 10-percent goal in the coming year. That initiative is far more meaningful than buying wind credits, according to Aspen-based energy consultant Randy Udall.

Vail Resorts did make somewhat of a political statement last year by contributing $500,000 to the Democratic National Convention in Denver but nothing to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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