Winter Park Resort is committed to offering a first-class outdoor recreation experience that fosters care for the pristine alpine environment that makes our mountain a natural wonder. It is the draw of the mountains that brings us to Winter Park, as a company we endeavor to cherish and respect the beautiful environment in which we are lucky enough to live, work and play.
As the oldest continually operating ski area in Colorado, we have a rich history of caring for our mountain and the surrounding environment before being “green” was popular. Winter Park employees have long shown tremendous care for our resort’s environment.
In 2006, our passion for the environment was formalized into the Connexion Brand. The name Connexion was chosen to represent the links between natural resources, energy consumption, ecology, commerce, education and experience that are so important to moving towards a sustainable future.
Years later, in 2010, the Connexion Council was formed, creating a forum for each department within Winter Park Resort to understand their role in sustainability, voice their concerns and build resort-wide environmental goals and objectives. The council also communicates our efforts to guests and staff alike, while engaging and educating new employees, a very important task in a seasonal industry.
We at Winter Park Resort understand sustainability is more than just a popular industry buzzword; it is a process and a fundamental value in our business. Sustainability is both practical and aspirational. Winter Park Resort has made great efforts to reduce ecological impact, reduce water usage and increase energy efficiency. While there are a number of ways to move towards sustainability, Winter Park Resort is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as climate change is the single greatest threat to our industry and the lifestyle we cherish. Winter Park Resort uses proprietary energy control software to limit our electrical consumption. We strive daily to reduce our overall footprint and lessen the use of fossil fuel created electricity, natural gas, water and other resources. Winter Park’s lifts are 100% offset with wind energy.
When confronted with the state of our planet, there are times when it seems we have done very little right, and what have done can seem all for naught, this is not the case with respect to Winter Park Resort’s care for its mountain environment. We have been very successful in protecting our environment as we continue to expand opportunities for recreation. Winter Park Resort’s most recently constructed lifts are 100% offset with wind energy, while our new tubing building, Hill House, was constructed with a number of reclaimed materials and energy-efficient design. Winter Park has also made great strides in mitigating stands of Pine Beetle-killed trees, most recently choosing to fly felled trees off our mountain with helicopters to protect Lynx Habitat.
In moving our environmental commitment forward we understand that involvement and communication is essential to the mission. Winter Park Resort has worked with numerous groups on various environmental initiatives including the National Forest Service, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Trout Unlimited as well as others. Winter Park Resort won the Golden Eagle Award in the large resort category for the sustainable construction of its new Lunch Rock Restaurant. The exterior of this impressive building, which is 16,600 square feet and has seating for 400, was designed to meet the specs in the US Forest Service’s Built Environment Image guide. Features include a roof line that matches the nearby topography; a compact, simple structure for the building itself; the use of natural materials such as wood and rock; and color schemes that match the nearby landscape. Construction disturbance to the area was minimized by utilizing an existing building site. Recycled material including mountain pine beetle and Wyoming snowfence wood was used extensively on the interior for siding, furniture, cabinets, signs, and doors. Employees of Winter Park made the tables and chairs in their shop using pine beetle kill wood, and made the light fixtures in their shop as well. CFL and LED electrical fixtures and bulbs were used throughout the building along with low-flow water fixtures. The electrical and gas usage is monitored and controlled remotely to reduce energy use. There is also a state-of-the-art interpretive display, providing guests with current information on the resort, the local USFS district, and the importance of clean water. Lunch Rock Restaurant embraces the history of the Mary Jane area while adhering to the principles of responsible building in a fragile, high-alpine environment.
Winter Park cultivates a culture of environmental care amongst its employees, guest, and surrounding communities and seeks comments, concerns or questions from all interested parties. Please send any inquiries to Connexion@winterparkresort.com. rich-text