Vail targets green values in new resort

Vail Resorts has announced more detailed plans for making the $1 billion Ever Vail
the largest LEED-certified, multi-use resort development project in the
nation.“The mission of Vail Resorts is to provide exceptional experiences at
our extraordinary resorts,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail
Resorts. “What we are announcing with the Ever Vail development is
completely aligned with two of our most important stakeholders—the
spectacular natural environment that serves as the backdrop of Vail
Mountain and the local community in which we operate.”
  Vail Resorts is now several steps closer to making the 9.5-acre Ever
Vail project at the base of Vail Mountain a reality. This past June, Ever
Vail was accepted into the pilot program for LEED’s new “Neighborhood
Development” certification program, putting it on the path to becoming the
largest LEED-certified project for resort use in the U.S. In addition, Vail
Resorts has clarified a number of aspects of the project, which will be
presented to the Town of Vail staff as part of its approval process. After
conducting extensive research and consulting with various green building
sources, the Company plans to undertake the following innovative
eco-sensitive measures to ensure that the project can be an icon for the
town and a source of pride for the entire Vail Valley community.
  —Use only woods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and local
area beetle-kill Lodgepole pine trees in building construction. A Vail
Valley company is currently working with the U.S. Forest Service to
establish a procedure for reclaiming the dying trees to be used in the
project. Wherever possible, the Company will purchase and incorporate
local and regional “green” materials for construction.
  —Incorporate a geothermal process (ground source heat pumps) to harness
energy that would be used for snowmelt. Coils of durable material are
embedded deep into the earth below. A fluid within the coil collects
heat from the earth and distributes it through surface streets and
sidewalks to melt the snow.
  —Install small hydro micro-turbines in Gore Creek to power the outdoor
streetscape lighting in public areas.
  —Preserve and enhance existing wetlands and Red Sandstone Creek through
a new storm water runoff management system.
  —Include significant affordable housing on-site (see below), helping to
meet many of the diversity requirements of the LEED program.
  —Use reclaimed water from snowmelt for use as “gray water” in the
toilets, rather than using potable water. Create a “closed-loop” gray
water system for washing all mountain operations vehicles, such as
snowcats and snowmobiles at the site of the new mountain operations
maintenance yard. Finally, use a large amount of reclaimed water from
the snowmelt system to augment flows in Red Sandstone Creek.
  —Orient all buildings to maximize the natural light, thereby creating
greater energy efficiency.
  —Incorporate green, living roofs on several of the buildings within the
project. A “green” roof is a system in which natural materials such as
soil and indigenous grasses cover the roof structure to help reduce
solar heat accumulation and storm water runoff.
  —Implement an erosion control program so as to mitigate any potential
erosion during construction.
  —Establish a “flex car” program to minimize vehicle emissions on the
I-70 corridor between Denver International Airport and Vail. Vail
Resorts would provide a fleet of cars for owners of properties in Ever
Vail to use while in town, thereby reducing the total number of cars
in the valley and encouraging owners to use shuttle service and public
transportation to and from the valley.
  Ever Vail is located on a true “Brownfield” site at the base of Vail
Mountain, currently known as West LionsHead, and will consist of over one
million square feet of mixed-use space including residences, a hotel,
offices, retail shops and restaurants, mountain operations facilities, a
public parking garage, a new gondola and related skier portal and a public
park. The LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, established
February 2007, integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and
green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design.
  “Our announcement today is just the beginning of many more to come
about our efforts to make sure Ever Vail is on the cutting edge of green
building,” said Katz. “We hope it will become a symbol of our intrinsic
relationship with the spectacular mountain environment in which we
operate.”
  As an important piece in creating a vibrant, year-round community in
Ever Vail, Vail Resorts is proposing to include 123 beds within the project
in what will likely be the most desirable affordable, deed-restricted
housing available for purchase in the Vail Valley. The studio, one- and
two-bedroom units will range in size from approximately 900 to 1,600 square
feet and will be designed to attract singles, couples and families
interested in living in a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly community with a
mix of retail, restaurants and public amenities all within walking distance
at the base of Vail Mountain. “We believe this is the most significant
on-site affordable housing commitment ever proposed for a real estate
project in Vail,” said Katz. “In addition to the affordable housing, our
decision to include over 50 percent of our employee housing requirement on
site is the right decision for both Ever Vail and the community.”
  The Company’s initiatives and plans expressed today are subject to
receipt of all required government approvals and finalization of necessary
agreements. Visit http://www.evervail.com for more information.
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