Aspen competes in Ski Town Showdown against Park City | AspenTimes.com

Aspen competes in Ski Town Showdown against Park City

The city of Aspen is partaking in a friendly competition known as the Ski Town Showdown against Park City, Utah.

The challenge is to see which community can install the most smart thermostats and LED lightbulbs, according to a statement from city of Aspen Community Relations Director Mitzi Rapkin.

City Utilities Efficiency Specialist Ryland French said this is the second Ski Town Showdown in which Aspen and Park City have competed.

In 2013, the two cities dueled to see which city's municipal staff could make the most sustainability changes, French said, adding that Park City won.

City staff aside, Ryland said the Aspen community is encouraged to partake in this year's challenge, as well.

Residential, commercial and municipal entities can participate in the Ski Town Showdown through installing LED lights and applying for rebates of as much as $1,000 from Energy Smart Colorado and the city, the statement said.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.

This year's Ski Town Showdown also comes as part of a larger national competition called the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

By measuring electricity and natural-gas usage in residential and municipal buildings, the Georgetown University Energy Prize will award its top contender $5 million based on energy savings and community involvement.

Both Aspen and Park City are among 50 cities competing in the energy prize, which is locally branded as the Aspen Energy Challenge.

"Park City threw down the gauntlet and said, 'Let's do it again,' since we're both competing in the Georgetown prize," French said.

"Along with bragging rights, of course," French said that the losing city's mayor will have to wear a tourist-souvenir-type shirt of the other city for the day.

"So hopefully, we'll have the Park City mayor wearing a sweet Aspen T-shirt," Ryland said.

Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron joked at the Sept. 28 council meeting that he would rather be forced to ski the other city's mountain as part of the wager.

The Ski Town Showdown competition kicked off Thursday and will last throughout the month.