Environmental Efforts at Stowe Mountain Resort & Stowe Mountain Lodge
First Mountain Community to Receive Audubon Sustainable Community Certification
Since opening its doors in 2008, Stowe Mountain Lodge has been dedicated to practices and programs that pay respect to, and lessen the property's footprint on, the changing environment. As a key participant in DH&R's "Destination Earth" program, Stowe Mountain Lodge is constantly evolving its environmental initiatives and striving to uphold the highest possible standards for environmental excellence.
The world-class lodge has already gained highly-coveted accolades from some of the top government and non-profit organizations in the country, as well as some of the nation's most renowned media outlets. In 2009, Stowe Mountain Lodge received Audubon International's Green Leaf certification, a program that honors a property's commitment to water quality, water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation and energy efficiency. This Green Leaf certification rounds out a resort-wide effort to uphold Audubon International's standards for environmental excellence, with previous awards including the Audubon International Green Community award for the lodge's surrounding Spruce Peak at Stowe alpine village, and the Audubon International Signature Sanctuary certification for the resort's Stowe Mountain Golf Club course. Additionally, in 2010 Stowe Mountain Lodge was awarded 5 Green Keys, the maximum rating, by Green Key Global.
As one of the most impressive and key elements of Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe Mountain Lodge has followed the resort’s theology of taking responsibility for maintaining the environmental protection of the area, and to ensure that this legendary destination maintains its natural wonders and stays true to the Vermont tradition of respect for natural resources. Sixteen years in the making, Stowe Mountain Resort’s vision for new on-mountain improvements constantly includes and utilizes “green development” practices.
Resort officials collaborated with 20 different organizations, including state government agencies, numerous environmental advocacy groups and the local community, to create an environmental charter that would incorporate design, construction and maintenance techniques. The ski community strives to enhance quality of life, maximize energy efficiency, and further connect the community with the environment. In addition, they are committed to using state-of-the-art “best management practices” to limit the impact of all construction, earth moving, and water withdrawal activities when building the new and improved Stowe Mountain Resort.
A summary of combined environmental efforts include:
Stowe Mountain Lodge
- Energy Efficiency - Stowe Mountain Lodge has been recognized by Efficiency Vermont for the use of energy-efficient equipment, lighting and approaches to construction and renovation. These environmentally efficient operations save approximately 800,000 kWh of electricity and 42,000 gallons of propane per year.
- Energy Management System – The Trane Summit energy management system allows the lodge to control where and when energy is used throughout public areas based on occupancy.
- Guestroom Fixtures - CFL bulbs, low-flow showerheads, and low-flow toilets are installed in all guestrooms. In addition, one light switch next to the guest room door controls all overhead lights and lamps to make it easy for guests to turn off all lights at once and prevent them from accidentally leaving on a single lamp when exiting the room.
- In-Room Luxuries - All guest room beds are adorned with eco-friendly micro-fiber sheets and organic cotton towels are provided in the bathrooms.
- Printed Materials - All in-room materials and marketing collateral pieces are printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink.
- Cleaning Products – The Lodge’s housekeeping staff uses eco-friendly cleaning products for guest rooms and public spaces.
- Composting – Employees at the Lodge compost all organic matter generated in the kitchen, restaurants, and employee cafeteria, which has led to a landfill diversion rate of through our recycling and composting efforts we have produced a landfill diversion rate of 85%.
- Strategic Green Partners - When choosing strategic partners for Stowe Mountain Lodge, we look for companies that share our commitment to the environment.
Artisans - Artisans who use organic materials and environmentally-friendly
practices have been commissioned to build furniture and design features for the
Lodge. These artisans include:
- Artistic woodworker Parker Nichols has salvaged trees that have succumbed to time from local forests near his Marshfield studio to create a host stand and tables for the lodge’s restaurant, and select pieces for the spa.
- Woodworker Charles Shackleton works with sustainable forests to obtain the wood he uses to create all of his furniture, including tables for the lodge. All of his sawdust is recycled and used as bedding for cattle.
- Master potter Miranda Thomas uses organic materials and non-toxic glazes to create the vases, trays and other accent pieces that are displayed around the hotel.
- In-room lamps have been custom-designed by glassblower/pottery maker Simon Pearce who uses a waterfall to generate electricity and to operate a glassblowing furnace and potter’s wheel.
- Iron works around the hotel have been hand-created by blacksmiths Hubbardton Forge in Castleton, Vermont, a three-time recipient of the State of Vermont’s Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.
- Green Education for Clients - For those guests who wish to learn more about the Lodge’s surrounding conservation land, an in-house recreation manager leads guests on nature walks, snowshoeing tours and moose, deer, bear and bird “safari” hikes around the area that also includes the Lodge’s signature educational messaging, “Just Leave Tracks.”
Stowe Mountain Resort
- Fish and Wildlife Habitat Protection - Stowe’s Ski Trail Reforestation Program has been ongoing since 1998. The program seeks to preserve and protect habitat for ecologically sensitive and rare, threatened, and/or endangered plants and animals; improve hydrologic conditions throughout the resort; and improve water quality in the watershed.
- Wildlife Conservation Land - Over 2,000 acres surrounding the resort have been permanently protected through state ownership and the use of conservation easements.
- Energy Conservation & Clean Energy - over 50% of the power purchased by the resort is from renewable resources.
- Environmental Education – Started in 2005, environmental training for employees has resulted in timely and comprehensive responses to potential releases of hazardous material or fuel oil.
- Hazardous Waste Reduction – Hazardous waste generated at the resort was reduced from a peak of over 2,200 lbs/month to less than 220 lbs/month.
- Solid Waste Reduction - Recycling programs are in place at all resort facilities. In the first phase ofthe Spruce deconstruction activity, 52% of materials were reused or recycled, 6 tons of scrap metal and wood was recycled, and 17.3 tons of building materials were salvaged for re-use.
Reduction and Recycling – Stowe Mountain Resort has a Solid Waste
Management Plan that established goals to reduce solid and hazardous waste
generation from operations and new construction. These efforts include:
- State-of-the-art storage tanks - The replacement of older underground storage tanks with double walled tanks, and leak prevention and detection devices.
- New fueling facilities - In 2005 the installation and operation of a new state-of-the-art vehicle and equipment-fueling facility began.
- Water Conservation - Snowmaking water conservation programs began in 2001, resulting in decreased reliance on stream withdrawals during low flows, and improved health of the stream’s aquatic community that relies on a clean consistent source of water to sustain it.
- Stream Restoration – Stowe Mountain Resort invested over a million dollars this summer in restoring a stream that flows from Spruce Peak, east of the Sensation Quad. With the stream restored to a state that existed long before skiers came to Spruce Peak, a better environment now exists for flora, fauna, insects, birds and animals.
Spruce Peak at Stowe
- Water Conservation - Water efficient fixtures are installed in all buildings, native plant species requiring limited irrigation are used for most landscaping, and, whenever possible, existing mature vegetation is maintained throughout the project site.
- Energy Conservation and Green Building Design - All lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are designed to achieve maximum, economically reasonable, energy efficiency.
- Waste Management – Waste production is controlled through recycling of both construction and demolition materials, in turn minimizing contribution to growing landfills.
- Public Transportation – To improve air quality, decrease dependence on petroleum fuels, and help maintain a level of traffic consistent with the expectations that people have for rural Vermont, Spruce Peak at Stowe will soon be served by the Stowe Trolley system, allowing residents and visitors to leave their cars parked while staying at the resort and still visit Stowe Village and the Mountain Road. Pedestrian paths will connect all activities and a heated plaza will serve the central area. The Over Easy Transfer Gondola now connects the Spruce and Mansfield base areas, eliminating the need for visitors to drive between the two parking lots.
- Storm Water Management - New snowmaking ponds will allow the resort to take less water from the river at critical times, maintaining stream flows during the winter snowmaking season. Innovative storm water collection systems have been engineered, and a comprehensive water quality management plan will guide all future activities.
- Natural Habitat - Over 2,000 acres surrounding Spruce Peak at Stowe have been permanently protected, and naturalized native vegetation
- is used for all landscaping. The summit of Spruce Peak will be allowed to naturally re-vegetate after the Big Spruce Lift’s top terminal has been relocated, increasing the habitat of the Bicknell’s Thrush, an important high altitude bird species.
- Landscape Aesthetics - Thoughtful development considers whether man-made structures are in conflict or harmony with their surroundings, and the natural use of materials and forms combined with rustic mountain architecture allow the blending of man-made structures into nature.
- Environmental Education - In cooperation with the University of Vermont and other environmental organizations, Spruce Peak is pursuing the establishment of an environmental education center to promote research and educational opportunities.
Stowe Mountain Club
- Chemical Use Management – The vision for the Stowe Mountain Club golf course is to achievean aesthetic quality with natural materials. The altitude of the site, combined with sophisticated drainage systems and disease resistant grass types, has helped to achieve that goal. A least-toxic management plan has been prepared with the assistance of environmental organizations and significantly limits the use of pesticides on the course. Stowe Mountain Club is currently the most environmentally-sensitive golf course within Vermont, and is the only Audubon International Signature Sanctuary certified course in the state.
- Snowmaking Pond - In 2005, Stowe Mountain Resort began operation of a new 111 million-gallon manmade snowmaking water storage pond, a spectacular centerpiece in the center of the Stowe Mountain Club golf course. Storm water is collected in this pond, and reused for snowmaking water and golf course irrigation. This implementation of domestic water conservation has already reduced both water use and the amount of wastewater at the resort.
About Stowe Mountain Lodge
Stowe Mountain Lodge is the centerpiece of Spruce Peak at Stowe, a $400 million alpine community that has been in planning and development stages for the past 16 years. As part of this new community, owners and guests of Stowe Mountain Lodge will enjoy world-class service, 312 guest rooms, a 21,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, ski-in/ski-out access to over 100 legendary trails, exclusive access to Stowe Mountain Club, an 18-hole mountain golf course designed by Bob Cupp, and a heated outdoor pool. Stowe Mountain Resort offers over 56,000 square feet of event space, as well as high-end boutiques, restaurants and limitless on-mountain recreational options. The lodge offers farm-to-table cuisine in Solstice restaurant and Hourglass bar. In addition, 34 fractionally-owned condominium units are available for vacation home ownership in the Lodge’s Front Four Private Residence Club, as well as the slope-side four- and five-bedroom, three story Mountain Cabins. Room reservations, with special lodging offers and packages, are available by calling: (802) 253-3560 or (888) 4-STOWE-VT, or by visiting www.stowemountainlodge.com. For real estate inquiries, please call: (888) 403-7739 or (802) 253-0320.
For a complete list of properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit www.destinationhotels.com.
About Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe is an internationally renowned four-season destination. Stowe Mountain Resort, with majestic Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak, is filled with activities for every season; golf, tennis, hiking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, world-class dining, shopping, spas and more. Stowe’s historic village combined with Vermont’s most spectacular landscape creates the quintessential New England getaway. For more information please visit: www.stowe.com/or call: 1-800-253-4754.
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