Sustainability at Deer Valley
Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah is a ski resort like no other. Visually, the resort is stunning. The trails seem to go on forever, but only until you want to go into a cozy lodge. The management and employees at Deer Valley take their to commitment to sustainability very seriously, and to be honest, I had no idea how truly sustainable they were until I visited the resort. Management at the resort works to instill a “culture of environmental sustainability that will ensure Deer Valley stays green for future generations while maintaining its commitment to guest service.” Not only have they created their own environmental vision statement and plan, but they are a participant of Sustainable Slopes. This program, adopted by the ski industry in 2000, provides a framework for ski areas on sustainability and enhanced environmental performance.
The resort has put together a Forest Management Plan to enhance the health of not only the trees but the entire environment. The thin trees and cut deadfall to create opening for healthy trees to flourish, and also address erosion problems on the mountains. Elimination of noxious weeds and invasive plants is a high priority. Since doing so they have seen an increase in fauna in the area. Deer Valley provides its employees with two complimentary buses daily in the winter season. 100% of off-road diesel vehicles run on bio-diesel. This includes snow removal equipment, lawn and garden equipment and on-mountain heavy equipment. During 2012, a major lighting upgrade was made throughout the resort, changing almost all bulbs to LED lighting. Deer Valley Resort purchases clean, renewable wind energy to offset electrical use for ski lifts or other resort energy use through Renewable Choice Energy, which offsets 10% of usage. The on-mountain snowmaking lakes hold 20 million gallons of water which is used for snowmaking during the winter months. During spring melt-off, the water returns to the snowmaking lakes for future use.
The environmental action plan at Deer Valley is similar to the layout of the Florida Green Lodging guidelines. Besides being a Sustainable Slopes member though, they are not certified by any other organization. Inside of the resort, non-disposable glassware is used in all employee rooms, which has reduced the use of disposable cups by 30,000 each year. Deer Valley could definitely work to increase the use of non-disposable glassware to guest rooms as well. 75% of the total amount spent on paper products at the resort is spent on products containing recycled content. Programs in the Deer Valley Children's Center educate students about the environment and sustainability. Children are encouraged to recycle and reuse materials and the programs aid in teaching children the importance of taking care of the environment. Washable linens and non-disposable dishes and silverware are used in all of the resort’s restaurants.In the restaurants, Copper Moose Farm, a local Park City producer, supplies the kitchens with certified organic fresh herbs, lettuce and flowers. 98% of the seafood products purchased are sustainable. Deer Valley is currently working to increase this percentage. Juice, iced tea, coffee and water are served in pitchers and most condiments are served in bulk. Linens are laundered with eco-friendly detergent. Kitchen staff is trained to understand and implement environmental care where possible.