vehicles and snowmobiles. De Jong said
snowmaking technology has improved
markedly in recent years. “The technology
on the guns is moving very quickly. They’re
down to three or four horsepower,” he said.
Whittier said he thinks the “Zero
Footprint” target, though ambitious, is a
“realistic commitment.” It also makes good
economic sense, partly because those who
live, work and recreate in the mountains
are more committed to environmental
stewardship than the general population.
“One of the things we can leverage is the
employees that we already have,” he said.
“Many of them are committed to the
outdoors, which allows us to tap into an
energy and a sense of purpose that’s just
De Jong said any such commitment begins
with being realistic about where you are
and acknowledging shortcomings. “We
have a chance to become a global leader
in reducing [environmental] impacts, and
thanks to Vail Resorts and Rob Katz,
they’ve made a commitment for Vail to be
a global leader,” De Jong said. “To their
great credit, they’ve put a date on it. Will
we achieve that goal? I don’t know, but the
effort is being made and I believe we can
be an inspirational company.”
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