Environmental Stewardship

 

From the very beginning, Sunlight Mountain Resort has been incorporating environmentally sustainable practices into its mountain operations to ensure a healthly outdoor experience for future generations. Most notably, Sunlight has maintained a very small environmental footprint, staying true to our humble beginnings as an affordable family-friendly alternative to the mega-resorts that encompass hundreds of thousands of areas and produce mega-sized impact on their local ecology.

Instead, we've stuck to our britches as being a family-friendly small ski area, ultimately providing access to skiing and riding that otherwise does not exist at luxury ski areas. Sustainability is also a means of financial prudence and we are initiating new projects in small but noticeable ways.

Employee Transit

Begun over a decade ago, the Sunlight Employee Transit System provides over 100,000 employee passenger miles per season this equates to a reduction of 2,250 personal vehicle miles.

Park & Ride Shuttle Service

Sunlight Mountain Resort provides a scheduled park and ride service, based at the Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop in downtown Glenwood Springs. The program reduces annual single-vehicle trips on Four Mile Road, reducing parking lot.

Harvesting Snow to Save Energy Use

This new snow fence near East Ridge helps us harvest more snow, keeping more powder on the runs, and ultimately allowing us to re-dedicate and reduce snowmaking.

Sunlight is a proud supporter of Sustainable Slopes and the Environmental Charter for Ski Areas produced by the National Ski Areas Association and endorsed by more than 300 ski areas and partnering organizations. The environmental charter encompasses a set of voluntary environmental principles to aid in ski area planning, operations and outreach. The Charter reaffirms the commitment ski areas have in improving environmental performance in all aspects of operations and managing their specific resorts, making possible their continued enjoyment by future generations - true sustainability. 

Climate Change Policy

Sunlight Mountain Resort, along with many ski resorts nationally, is concerned about the potential threat of climate change to our environment and winter recreation. As a result, the National Ski Areas Association has adopted a policy to address the long-term challenges of climate change brought about by greenhouse gases. Through this policy, we hope to raise awareness of the potential impacts of climate change on weather-dependent winter sports, reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage others to take action as well.

Toward this end, we will take the following actions:

• Educate our guests about the potential impacts of climate change; educate guests on how they can help reduce greenhouse gases.

• Raise policy maker awareness of the dependence of winter sports on natural ecosystems and the potential impacts of climate change on the winter sports experience.

• Advocate the national reduction of greenhouse gases through legislative, regulatory or voluntary measures.

• Support sound, science-based solutions to climate change, including the use of renewable energy technologies.

• Partner with organizations and agencies to help reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency; invest in more efficient products, practices and technologies.

What you can do to affect climate change - keeping winter COOL.

• Share a ride. Carpool, drive an efficient car or take shuttles to help reduce greenhouse gases. SkiCarpool.com is a great way to find additional riders! Click below to learn more and sign up.

• Be an efficient consumer. Buy energy efficient household appliances and replace normal light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

• Turn off heat and lights when not needed or when you leave a room.

• Buy clean energy for your home. Contact your local utility to see if "green electricity" is available for you to purchase - such as wind or solar power.

• Contact your elected representative and ask them to do more to reduce greenhouse emissions.

• Spread the word to your lift-mates, family, friends and co-workers.

For more information go to NSAA website and enter the green room.


Power Driven Mobility

Sunlight Mountain Resort, in conjunction with the White River National Forest, established a public access policy precluding motorized equipment on slopes and trails within the established boundaries of the Special Use Permit granted for public skiing access.  This policy also extends to lands owned or managed by Sunlight Mountain Resort.  The policy precluding motorized equipment remains in effect.  The public access policy for Sunlight Mountain Resort was established to prevent serious harm to the environment and the natural resources.  Due to the need to address soil integrity, erosion and vegetation concerns, the Ski Area has adopted a “no motorized” policy for the public during the summer season.

Due to concerns with actual safety practices during the winter season, Sunlight Mountain Resort has determined that the use of any power-driven devices or vehicles by the public, including power-driven mobility devices used by individuals with mobility disabilities, would conflict with our safety requirements necessary for the reasonably safe operation of our on-slope activities.  These safety concerns include the use of devices on the slopes that expose the user and skiers/snowboarders to a safety hazard such as collisions with downhill skiers and snowboarders.  These safety concerns are based on actual risks and are not intended to be discriminatory in any way.  ADA parking is available in designated and signed areas and a visible permit is required.

Sunlight Mountain Resort allows individuals with mobility disabilities to use power driven mobility devices, wheelchairs and manually-powered mobility aids such as walkers, crutches, canes, braces or other similar devices designed for use by individuals with mobility disabilities in areas open to pedestrian use.  Access to the on-mountain facilities will only be allowed with the use of approved adaptive devices.  Adaptive devices are any specialized equipment that have been designed and manufactured primarily for the use by individuals who have disabilities, including mono-skis, bi-skis, outriggers and sit-skis.  Equipment that does not meet the definition of “adaptive” design (such as Snow-Bikes) is not permitted on the ski area by any members of the public, including individuals who have mobility disabilities.  Sunlight’s adaptive ski program offers or will arrange for adaptive equipment that meets this definition, when requested in advance by individuals wanting to enjoy winter sports at our resort.

Sunlight Mountain Resort does not limit or restrict the use of Service Animals anywhere on our property.  Service Animals are defined as animals that have been individually trained to actively assist individuals with physical or cognitive needs.  Individuals with Service Animals, of course must maintain control of their animals at all times.  In addition, any Service Animal must be house broken and it is the responsibility of the owner to clean up behind their Service Animals.  The use of ski lifts by Service Animals must be limited by weight capacities, evacuation limitations and general safety practices and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  There is no limitation on Service Animals during the summer season.