Last updated 3:44PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Ski Resort Environmental Report Card Issued
(2007-12-03)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort opened one more lift and 9 more trails today, and hopes to open the backside by this weekend. Wolf Creek now has five lifts operating and expects to be 100-percent open in a day or two.
As the season is gearing up across ski country, an environmental watchdog group is out with a report card on environmental efforts being undertaken by resorts.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: This is the 8th year for the Ski Area Environmental Scorecard, published by Durango based Colorado Wild and the Ski Area Citizens Coalition.
Colorado Wild's Ryan Demmy Bidwell says as in year's past, this scorecard grades 77 ski resorts in the West.
But for the first time, 14 resorts in Canada are also included.
BIDWELL: THE IDEA OF THE SCORECARD HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO ENCOURAGE BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN SKI AREAS, BY GIVING SKIERS AND SNOWBOARDERS GOOD INFORMATION ABOUT WHO'S DOING WHAT AND WHO'S NOT DOING WHAT.
Bidwell says results are gathered through Freedom of Information requests to government agencies and surveys sent to ski areas.
Like past years, this years results, Bidwell says, are all over the map, but they have seen several resorts that received low grades in the past do an about face.
BIDWELL: AND THOSE SKI AREAS, LIKE TELLURIDE, AND PARK CITY, AND MAMMOTH AND SQUAW VALLEY OUT IN CALIFORNIA, HAVE REALY MADE A SHARP TURNAROUND. MEANWHILE, OTHER SKI AREAS THAT HAVE DONE POORLY HISTORICALLY ON THE SCORECARD, CONTINUE TO DO POORLY ON THE SCORECARD.
Aspen tops the list nationally and in Colorado.
Colorado's Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Telluride also make the national top ten, all with A-grades.
Those four also top all Colorado Ski areas, with Wolf Creek rated 5th also with an A grade.
Breckenridge and Copper Mountain finish 19th & 20th, or last in Colorado, both with F-grades.
Durango Mountain Resort is rated 15th, with a score of 50-percent, or a C-grade.
Purgatory spokeswoman Loryn Kasten says real estate development and on and off mountain improvements may be largely responsible for the lower grade.
KASTEN: UNFORTUNATELY IT'S THE KIND OF SITUATION WHERE WE GET PENALIZED FOR TRYING TO CREATE BETTER RESOURCES FOR OUR GUESTS.
Kasten says Purg remains committed to improving its environmental scorecard.
The resort did get higher grades in several areas.
KASTEN: WE'VE TAKEN A LOT OF STRIDES TO MINIMIZE OUR IMPACT. WE USE BIODIESEL IN ALL OF OUR ON AND OFF MOUNTAIN TRANSPORTATION FLEET. WE RECYCLE ALL OF OUR BUILDING MATERIALS THROUGH PHOENIX RECYLING. WE BOUGHT NEW ENERGY EFFICIENT SNOWMAKING MACHINES AND RETROFITTED OUR OLD SNOW MAKING MACHINES SO THEY WOULD BE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT. ANY STEPS WE CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT OF OUR DEVELOPMENTS AND OUR IMPROVEMENTS WE'RE ALWAYS LOOKING AT.
Bidwell agrees development and terrain expansion at DMR have hurt their score, in addition to what he says is the lack of an environmental program that ties other efforts together.
Bidwell says it's hoped skiers will use the report card to make skiing decisions.
BIDWELL: WE HOPE, AND AS WE'VE SEEN OVER THE YEARS, SKI AREAS REALLY DO RESPOND TO THEIR CUSTOMERS, AND SO THE MORE THEY HEAR FROM PEOPLE, WE EXPECT THE MORE THEY WILL RESPOND AND TAKE MORE PROACTIVE ACTION.
You can view the scorecard, at skiareacitizens.com.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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