Aspen Skiing Co. gets good ‘green’ grades | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Skiing Co. gets good ‘green’ grades

ASPEN – Three of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s four ski areas were given a grade of “A” for their environmental practices by a coalition of conservation groups.

The Ski Area Citizens Coalition issues an annual report card for ski resorts throughout the West. It encourages people to ski and ride at the most “environmentally sensitive” resorts in an effort to improve practices in the industry as a whole.

The Skico has traditionally done well on the scorecard, and the 2010 results released this week were no different. Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk all earned the highest grade and were ranked four, five and six, respectively, among the resorts in the 11 states in the Rocky Mountain West and Pacific West. The three resorts were the top three among 20 ranked in Colorado.

Snowmass earned a “B” and didn’t crack the top 10 resorts in the West. It ranked seventh among 20 ski areas ranked in Colorado. Each ski area was given a grade in four environmental categories as well as an overall grade. Snowmass got an “A” for environmental policies and practices such as its waste stream management and purchasing. It received a “B” in the categories of habitat protection and addressing global climate change but it only received a “C” for protecting watersheds.

The detailed scores for individual resorts plus a description of the grading system is at the environmental organization’s website: http://www.skiareacitizens.com.

The only other resort in Colorado that earned an “A” was Wolf Creek Ski Area. Powerhorn, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Loveland, Telluride, Vail Mountain, Monarch, Durango and Arapahoe Basin all received a “B.”

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The citizens’ coalition considers an “A” and “B” as “good” grades.

Those receiving a “C” were Beaver Creek, Steamboat, Winter Park, Eldora and Keystone.

Copper Mountain and Breckenridge got a “D” and cracked the “worst 10” list for the West. Breckenridge received the lowest grade in 2010.

scondon@aspentimes.com