Stewards of Our Water Resource
Snow is precious, not only for skiing and snowboarding, but because it is nature’s way to store water for the spring and summer. We have a special role in protecting our water source because many of our resorts lie at the head of watersheds that support cities, agricultural areas and recreation. Our water management plans consider all of this, and our actions insure that only the cleanest, highest quality water leaves our mountains.
Water use in our lodges, restaurants, and hospitality property has been an area of focus. One way we reduce water usage in our facilities is through water-less urinals and low-flow fixtures. For example, Vail Mountain has installed water-less urinals and uses low-flow fixtures in a majority of its bathrooms. The urinals save up to 200,000 gallons from being flushed down the drain each year and the sink fixtures have led to a 27% reduction in annual water usage since installation in 2008.
More than 80% of water used in snowmaking returns to the watershed yearly and we still look for opportunities to improve efficiency in snowmaking to balance the experience we provide to guests with optimizing our environmental footprint.
Vail Resorts properties implement resort specific Stormwater Management Plans to maintain water quality in our streams and watersheds that could be affected by spring runoff and on-mountain projects. We work in cooperation with our partners including the US Forest Service and State and Local agencies including local water boards.
In 2009, Vail Resorts joined the National Forest Foundation and the United States Forest Service on the multi-year Hayman Restoration Project to help restore areas destroyed by the fire. As the private funding catalyst for the restoration project, Vail Resorts pledged $750,000 and 1,500 employee volunteer hours. From 2009 to 2012, the Company gave almost 2,000 volunteer hours.
"The Hayman Restoration Project is an example of the power of channeling resources and working together on a critical conservation project," said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. "Through private-public partnerships, we can make our forests more resilient, protect water resources and improve forest health."
Our employees worked hard over four years to help decrease sediment deposits; enhance and relocate trails; remove noxious weeds; and restore native plant and wildlife habitats.