Meadows Blog

Ski Industry Lifts Support for Climate Change

As June begins, and you pack away leftovers from your Memorial Day barbeques, the furthest thing from your mind is skiing. But as ski lodge owners open their mountains resorts for the summer, and humidity rises in D.C, we cannot forget the impacts of climate change on our industry. Today, Mt. Hood Meadows  joins with 107 other ski areas as a part of the National Ski Areas Association to sign the Climate Declaration, which calls upon federal policymakers to seize the American economic opportunity of addressing climate change.

Climate Declaration - sign the petition. 

Climate change has altered weather patterns to the degree that we can no longer rely on regular season snows to bolster our businesses. 2011 was the fourth-warmest winter on record since 1896, forcing half the nation’s ski areas to open late and almost half to close early. In turn, our communities are also at risk as they rely heavily on us for tourism and employment. Ski industry leaders are concerned not just with the threat climate change has to their own operations but also its impacts on rising sea levels, wildlife habitat, the health of our forests, and truly our way of life.  We recognize both the risks of inaction as well as the opportunity for U.S. leadership in combating climate change.

YOU CAN SIGN CLIMATE DECLARATION!

The economic influence of our trade is enormous. Ski areas in the U.S. employ about 160,000 people and generate about $12.2 billion in annual revenue. The National Ski Areas Association calculates that visitors to U.S. ski areas spent $5.8 billion at those resorts over the course of the 2011/2012 season. Preliminary figures from the 2012/2013 season show an 11 percent increase in visits year-over-year, to an estimated 56.6 million visits this season.

Mt. Hood Meadows is already taking precautionary measures in our operations by:

Supporting Clean, Renewable Energy by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to power our operations from clean, wind energy. In addition, there is a myriad of innovative ways we are minimizing our energy consumption, including installation of energy efficient and motion-sensor activated lighting, Energy Star rated appliances and an energy management system throughout the resort.

Minimizing our Water Footprint taking several steps to reduce our water footprint, restore area wetlands, control erosion via storm water and snowmelt runoff management systems, and through native seed collection and re-vegetation. Installing low-flow toilets as well as energy/water efficient appliances (including waterless urinals), saves a minimum of 285,000 gallons annually.

Minimizing our Carbon Footprint through our “Know Idling” policy instead of “NO!” idling to encourage responsible and appropriate idling which varies by vehicle and equipment. We promote public transportation options, provide free bus transportation for seasonal staff and are proud to share that our guests have a rate of public transit usage double of most ski resorts in the United States. We are a founding partner with SkiGreen, Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s program to offset carbon emissions from vehicle travel. The program offers a simple, affordable way for guests to offset the carbon footprint of their travel to and from the mountain.

Sourcing our Restaurants with Local, Sustainable Food minimizes the impact of deliveries with bulk purchases and wherever disposables are offering biodegradable and compostable cups and tableware from rapidly renewable resources.

LEED Certified Buildings our two LEED certified buildings including our Emergency Services (Gold) and the Ski Patrol Headquarters (Silver) demonstrates our commitment to minimize our impact on the mountain.

Mt. Hood Meadows is one of 20 participating ski companies that took on the Climate Challenge - committing to reduce emissions by at least 17 percent below 2011 emissions by 2020. Though these action help to drive efficiency throughout our businesses, they alone will not be enough to tackle the threat of climate change.

We are an energy and water-intensive industry that sees a serious response to climate change as an economic opportunity. That is why Mt. Hood Meadows has signed and endorsed the Climate Declaration, a statement prepared by Ceres and its BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) coalition that urges federal lawmakers to take action on climate change.

We need a coordinated effort from policy leaders to address this issue so we can keep our slopes sustainable. Future generations should be able enjoy a snow day on our hills, and we know signing the Declaration is a step toward ensuring this.  

7 Comments

  1. Steve

    June 9, 2013

    History repeats itself as well as mother nature....not sure why humans are being blamed for "weather cycles". Wish media and others would start understanding more of science & history, and see that these cycles have happened in the past.

    Meadows: Said the dinosaurs. =0}

  2. Mick

    June 16, 2013

    Please stop with the politics. This is a scam and you bought into it. I can't stand you guys but I am stuck with you since you have the only HSQ and challenging terrain on Mt Hood. Otherwise I would give you none of my money. There is no MMGW or AGW or ACC, Whenever you guys start preaching my reaction is to burn a little more fossil fuel. You should do things that make sense for you as a business. Saving fuel and having public transit should be a good economic decision for you and not something you do out of your belief in your religion of Climate change. Although I can't say Im surprised I kind of had the feeling you guys leaned this way.

    Meadows: It's not politics and it does make good business sense. If there is nothing to climate change, then nothing lost. But if humans are affecting climate change even minutely, then making efforts to reduce that impact is worthwhile. We may never know in our lifetime - but it could make a huge difference for our grand children and theirs.

  3. UberRight

    June 20, 2013

    We don't all believe the "science". Would rather have lower ticket prices.

    Meadows: You can have both. We're rolling back prices to two seasons ago. $74 lift pass (weekends and holidays). Season pass rates also have been reduced in price. Enjoy!

  4. k2skier

    July 2, 2013

    Please keep up the good work! And remember, those who say that that the weird weather, and wild swings we've been having world wide are just normal stuff also listen to too much AM radio and get their news from Fox...The climate and weather are NOT political the uberright is trying to make it political! Leaving a minimal impact on this planet is every humans responsibility.

    On the mountain there's no Republicans or Democrats...just skiers.

    Meadows: Well said!

  5. acinpdx

    August 1, 2013

    "Meadows: Season pass rates also have been reduced in price. Enjoy!"

    That's some good news!

    Meadows: We're rolling back pricing to the 2011/12 season. Check out the blog for the announcement.

  6. Rick

    August 7, 2013

    Hey why don't all ski resorts stop operations to limit their impact on global warming. You know all the cars, trucks, buses, that drive up to the resort, the energy to move the lifts, the machinery for grooming, the 2-stroke snow mobiles, all the energy and pollution in manufacturing our equipment, the human waste from the restrooms, and the power for the electricity. Was that hydro? Bad, wind good. Same grid is it? There was probably powder almost every day before modern humans screwed it up.
    Nothing wrong to be cleaner but don't vomit propaganda to make the point to be cleaner.

    Meadows: The same could be said for every carbon emitting activity in our society, for work or for pleasure. It shouldn't stop us from striving to operate as efficiently as possible and sharing the message with others.

  7. Bill Nagel

    September 27, 2013

    Other planets, such as Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus are showing signs of climate change. Even our own sun is having a solar minimum when it should be in a solar maximum cycle. So when you have government scientist screaming the sky is falling, you really have to ask the question are we being "gamed". The government cares nothing about the enviromemt or individuals. Governments are interested only in gaining and consolidatong power. So peace, freedom, and liberty is what's important, the rest will take care of itself.

    Meadows: So you're saying it's not just a global issue - we're causing the climate to change in our entire solar system? =0}

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