Addressing Climate Change While Optimizing Offerings
Mt. Hood, Ore. The season for winter fun in Oregon, and along the entire west coast, is shifting as climate trends point to less snowpack and warmer days.
Mt. Hood Meadows recognizes a challenge in the rising global temperature and also opportunities through innovation to keep the winter fun season going while also diversifying activities for all seasons.
Leading by example, Meadows is taking on climate change starting with its own operation. It’s a founding member of the National Ski Areas Associations “ Climate Challenge ” and a SKI Magazine 2015 Golden Eagle Award winner for Environmental Excellence.
“People want to know that the place they play, the place they recreate also cares and has that same inspiration to protect as they do,” said Heidi Logosz, Environmental Sustainability Manager for Mt. Hood Meadows. The resort has taken significant steps to cut carbon pollution. It has successfully reduced emissions by 15% since 2011. Those changes involve more efficient use of electricity, fuel consumption reduction, and increased materials management including recycling and waste disposal.
“Throughout the resort we’re continuing to evaluate what areas of opportunity we have to reduce those emissions and we’re on target to exceed the goal that we’ve set for ourselves,” said Logosz.
Transitioning into a Four Seasons Resort
Meadows is adapting to the reality of climate change, as well. When snow first began to fall last November, it mobilized special equipment to gather as much snow as possible from the parking lot and place it on the slopes. Snow harvesting has proven to be more efficient and provide greater coverage than the limited snowmaking system produces. It kept skiers and snowboarders in business for most of the season despite near record-low snowpack.
Two five-day Kids Camps in July will serve a mix of environmental education and organized adventures that will give kids the skills and support needed to take their love of the outdoors well into adulthood. Meadows is offering 10 days of weekend scenic chairlift operations in August with events and entertainment
scheduled each weekend.
A large part of this effort is developing additional sources of revenue, beyond the traditional winter recreation products and services Meadows has offered the past 47 seasons. These efforts include:
“We are embarking on a journey that still has mountain outdoor recreation winter and non-winter at it’s core, but will explore and develop culinary, education, entertainment, mountain lifestyle and lodging aspects of our business,” said Dave Tragethon, Executive Director of Public Relations for Meadows.
- Investigating other activities and attractions to supplement core winter snow enthusiast experience
- New “Altitude – Mountain Lifestyle” shop opening in Portland, August 1
- Robust online logo wear and lifestyle offerings through Mt. Hood Meadows website