Colorado’s Eldora ski resort has won the highest ‘Golden Eagle’ title in the annual awards run by North American ski areas’ trade body the NSAA, taking top marks in the “Environmental Excellence, Climate Impact” category.

Eldora has instilled a desire to achieve ever higher environmental management goals in every area of its operations and with every employee asked to play their part. They work with Xcel Energy to meet carbon reduction goals at the resort.

The resort has committed to changing to all electric vehicles and upgrading to energy efficient lighting. They are also investing in more efficient snowmaking equipment that will use less water and energy.

A grant has been applied for to purchase and install recycling stations in the parking lots and a second grant has been applied for to fund biodegradable ski/board wax that is used on the rental equipment in the Ski & Ride School. Compostable utensils are being used in the Food & Beverage Department and Eldora has removed all plastic straws from their property.

“We are so proud to get this nod from NSAA,” says Hunter Wright, Eldora’s Sustainability Manager. “It highlights not only our efforts to date but the need for Eldora and the broader ski industry to continue prioritizing sustainability in every aspect of resort operations and the guest experience.”

One of the more innovative achievements was spearheaded by Food & Beverage employee Carson MacDonald who recognised the amount of PPE waste being generated during the pandemic and worked on a nitrile glove recycling initiative.

“Carson collected hundreds of pounds of gloves, packed them in boxes to ship to Terracycle, which turned them into picnic tables, building material, etc. Carson also worked hard behind the food lines to make sure waste was sorted properly order to prevent cross-contamination between compost and recycling waste diversion streams,” said Eldora’s Marketing Director Sam Bass.