All five PGRI resorts have signed on for the industry effort to promote sustainable slopes
When the National Ski Areas Association put out the call for member resorts to join in the NSAA Climate Challenge this year, Wisp Resort answered with a resounding, “Yes,” along with the other four ski areas in the Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. portfolio. NSAA’s Climate Challenge initiative has been around for several years, and more regional destination resorts are starting to be in a position to join industry stalwarts such as Aspen, Deer Valley and Sugarbush in the efforts to reduce energy usage and thus carbon emissions. Geraldine Link, Director of Public Policy at NSAA, exclaimed in her emailed response about Wisp and the other PGRI resorts’ involvement, “NSAA is excited to see all these ski areas enter the Climate Challenge. It is awesome!”
Jerry Geisler, General Manager of Wisp Resort, noted the resort has already named a steering committee of staffers to develop and implement the eco-friendly programs, and he has named a “sustainability champion,” Aaron Holochwost, who would be leading the efforts at the resort. Geisler also indicated the committee had drafted the initial list of actions to be executed over the next several years to reduce waste and energy usage with the objective of eventually getting to a carbon neutral footprint.
Wisp’s spokesperson for the environmental initiative, Maggie Moran, explained it is important to approach the NSAA Climate Challenge as a collaborative effort involving guests as well as resort operations. “We can reduce idling time for our groomers and buses, and we can buy carbon credits, plant trees, recycle and switch from printed materials to digital versions. We can even ask our suppliers to reduce the amount of cardboard used when they ship items to us, but those efforts won’t get us all the way to our goal. As part of our sustainability effort, we will be educating our guests in how they can help by respecting the no idling zones in our drop off areas and making sure they participate in the recycling programs and use refillable water bottles instead of single use plastic containers. Our pitch to them is pretty simple – we’re all in this together, so let’s all pitch in.”
Vern Greco, President and CEO of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. is an established supporter of environmentally sustainable programs in the ski industry. “The health of the environment is something I have been sensitive to for a long time going back to my time on NSAA’s Board of Directors a couple decades ago when I served on the environmental committee. I’m very pleased we’ve been able to bring Wisp and the other four PGRI properties to the point where they can collectively be a meaningful contributor to NSAA’s Climate Challenge efforts.”