Green Snow

Making snow has never been so Green!

In order to be responsible stewards of the environment every business must find ways to reduce its carbon footprint. While recycling programs are a great start, they are the norm and expected as a minimum. Mount Snow has taken a different approach, looking at what has the major environmental impact at our resort and addressing it with what truly makes the biggest difference, making Mount Snow a green ski resort!

Energy Efficient Snowmaking Systems

  • Owners, Peak Resorts, purchased 251 SMI Polecat Fan Guns starting in 2007-08. The fan guns are powered by electricity and each has its own on-board compressor. The on-board compressor eliminates the need to pipe compressed air from air centers located sometimes miles away.
  • The result is we no longer rely on diesel powered compressors. By eliminating these compressors all together it saves the environment from 200,000 gallons of diesel exhaust each year.
  • By not burning these 200,000 gallons of diesel we eliminate over 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions which would require 125,000 trees to offset.
  • In 2009 Mount Snow pumped 25% more water into snowmaking and used 21% less energy to do it than in 2008.
  • Mount Snow used 3,484,964 less KWH in 2009 while converting 25% more water into snow than in 2008.
  • Installation of Fan Guns has resulted in a savings of 3,484,964 KWH. Enough to run 3723 homes for a month, or 310 homes for a year.
  • The installation of a new Anderson Moisture Separator to the air compressor system is expected to remove four to five times more moisture from the air than the previous technology the resort had in place.
  • A state-of-the-art airflow meter has been installed to help the snowmaking control manager understand how much air is being put up the mountain and improve air efficiency.

These last two projects were made possible by working with Efficiency Vermont; a private non-profit company with the goal of helping all Vermonters to reduce energy costs, strengthen the local economy, and protect the environment by making homes and businesses energy efficient. Efficiency Vermont provides technical assistance, rebates, and other financial incentives to help Vermont households and businesses reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment, lighting, and approaches to construction and major renovation.

Conservation Measures

  • Heating setback controls on base lodges and administrative buildings turn back the heat at night regardless of the individual thermostat settings.
  • Exit lighting has been converted from incandescent to florescent, LED lighting and all exterior lighting has been converted to HID (high intensity discharge) lighting. Both measures together save approximately 5% in electricity.
  • Hotel guests may choose not to receive clean towels on a daily basis conserving water for laundry and reducing soap used.
  • New bathroom faucets operate with sensors, which eliminate running faucets and reduce wasted water.
  • Water outflows, a result of snowmaking, are routed back into snowmaking ponds so water may be conserved and reused instead of just being released on the mountain.
  • Street Lamps on Main Street switched from incandescent to metal halide lighting

Environmentally Preferred Alternatives

  • To lubricate the haul rope (lift cable) on Mount Snow’s lifts, 100% Castrol oil is used instead of petroleum-based oil.
  • An environmentally friendly anti-freeze (does not contain ethyl glycol) is used both in lift maintenance to prevent icing and in all snowmaking compressors.
  • Housekeeping uses lemon-based cleaners instead of harsher chemical cleaners.

Grand Summit Hotel receives green status

  • The Grand Summit Hotel, located at the base of Mount Snow has recently been recognized by the State of Vermont as a “Green Hotel in the Green Mountain State” VTgreenhotels.org describes a green hotel as: “any Vermont lodging establishment that solidifies its commitment to environmental excellence by achieving a set of environmental standards.”
  • At year’s end in 2008 there were only 92 hotels in the state to achieve this status.

Support of the Regional Transit Association

Mount Snow is the single largest private contributor to the Deerfield Valley Transit Authority. Known as the MOOver, the buses (painted like Holstein cows) provide free daily connecting service to six area towns for residents and visitors. Some of the MOOVer vehicles are fueled by 100% treated vegetable oil with no diesel additive, with plans to convert more, according to the DVTA.

Snowmaking Heat Exchanger

An air-to-water heat exchanger extracts heat from the compressed air used in snowmaking, and pre-heats the water for the oil-fired boilers in Mount Snow’s Main Base Lodge. Approximately 15-20% of the heat in the Main Base Lodge will be provided by the heat exchange system.

Recycling & Re-use Programs

  • Mount Snow recycles paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, bottles, cans and scrap metal.
  • Trail maps are printed on recycled paper and the sign shop uses soy based inks.
  • Toilet paper and hand towels are made from recycled material.
  • Oil used in the lift tension system is cleaned and reused instead of using new oil.
  • Used anti-freeze is collected for reconditioning.
  • All waste oils collected at the resort are burned in a waste oil heater, which is used to provide heat to the Maintenance Building.
  • Cooking grease is collected and burned to help heat the Mountain Operations building.
  • Hotel amenity products (shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer) that are half-full or more are collected and donated to Twice Blessed, a local charity that provides support to families/individuals in the Mount Snow area.