More resorts going green
Vermont’s forefathers could never have envisioned windmills perched on mountain peaks when they coined the moniker Green Mountain State, but the state’s snow sports resorts are living up to the modern-day connotation of that color by incorporating a number of ecologically sound and clean-energy initiatives into their business practices.
With the installation of a 156-foot-tall turbine atop the Vista Quad lift, Bolton Valley Resort has become the first ski resort in Vermont - and second in the nation, following Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts - to generate wind power while selling excess energy back to the local grid.
The hilltop turbine has a much smaller footprint than the type of machines clustered in traditional wind farms, and will not be clearly visible from a distance of more than 5 miles. To withstand the rigors of a Northeast winter, the 33-foot blades are coated in Teflon to prevent icing, and the turbine is designed to be operational against gusts of up to 133 miles per hour and in temperatures down to minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bolton Valley officials said in a press release that the $800,000 turbine investment would generate more than 300,000 kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to the energy used by 40 to 45 Vermont households.
In addition to the new turbine, Bolton Valley has partnered with Efficiency Vermont, a nonprofit consulting group, to assess its snowmaking system to identify waste and areas where savings could be gained.
Bolton Valley is by no means alone in keeping slopes white by embracing green ideas in Vermont. Other new statewide ski resort initiatives include:
■Bromley’s completion of the first phase in a two-year, $1.1 million investment in high-efficiency/low-energy snow guns.
■Killington’s implementation of ecologically positive policies, like co-mingled recycling and a “no idling’’ mandate for all snow grooming equipment.
■Okemo’s recognition by the National Ski Areas Association, which honored the resort with the 2009 Silver Eagle Award for Environmental Education.
■A program at Smugglers’ Notch that emphasizes wildlife protection with ongoing tracking of both the Bicknell’s Thrush and the black bear.
Corbett, 30, the AbilityPlus at Attitash director, was competing in his first X Games and taking his first Monoskier X practice run when he approached the over and under jumps where racers decide which way to go. He misjudged his location.
Corbett’s black and blue mug graces the screen in Miller’s latest effort, “Dynasty.’’
“I would have preferred to get in the movie because I reached the finals and made the podium,’’ he said. “But I’ll take it this way I guess.’’
Look for Moe at the Jackson Hole booth, and Powers, who is hoping to return to the Olympics in snowboardcross, at the Okemo and Mount Sunapee displays.
Bring used mittens and gloves to support Ski Vermont’s Mitten Drive to help the homeless and snag lift ticket discounts. The gloves go to the Pine Street Inn, and donors can get $10 off an adult ticket or $5 off a child’s ticket through Dec. 19 at participating ski resorts.
“It was a great test competing against top athletes from Switzerland, Japan, and Canada,’’ she said through US Snowboarding’s website. “This really helps us judge where we are at before going into the Olympic qualifiers next month.’’
Globe correspondent Marty Basch contributed to this report.