Don't be fooled by Wolf Creek's low profile. The resort stands tall as one of Colorado's leading ski areas setting an example for using renewable energy sources. This season Wolf Creek continues making sustainable strides within the areas of alternative energy, water conservation and quality, ride share, and recycling.
Wolf Creek has been purchasing 100 percent of its power-mountain wide and year round-from Tri-State Generation and Transmission for the past five years. Tri-state supplies local power company SLVREC by generating green energy from two wind farms located near Medicine Bow, Wyo. The resort is committed to showing the need for sustainable business practices by sacrificing for this more expensive power source. According to the Web site, the average monthly usage for Wolf Creek is 145,900 kwh, which would be equal to removing 241 cars from the road per year.
Low-water usage toilets were first installed at Wolf Creek in 1982 long before it was proper to save water resources. By the end of the upcoming season two more modern, water-free restrooms will be installed at the top of Treasure and Raven chairlifts. The United Sates Forest Service has given final approval for the toilets that are composting and zero-discharge certified in addition to waterless. The restrooms will be 800 square feet in size and fully heated.
The resort makes extra efforts in keeping its water clean in addition to plentiful. Wolf Creek uses 100 percent biodegradable hydraulic oil in all heavy equipment. The oil is manufactured from grape seed oil and biodegrades completely in less than four weeks.
"Share the Ride, Share the Fun" is Wolf Creek's free carpool program established in the 2008-09 season. The program connects skiers who need a ride with those who would like to share the cost of the drive as well as the ski experience with others. Ride share caters to both locals and visitors alike. Sign up is quick and easy and located on Wolf Creek's Web site.
Each year ski resorts are scored by the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition (SACC) in regards to environmental practices. Wolf Creek hopes to improve on the ‘B' grade given on last seasons Environmental Report Card. SACC gives significant consideration to "the preservation of natural mountain environments," says Paul Joyce, Colorado Associate to SACC's Colorado Wild. The survey reviews Habitat Protection, Protecting Watersheds, Addressing Global Climate Change, and Environmental Policies and Practices.
"Wolf Creek is really striving in their recycling policy," Joyce says. "Finding companies to recycle things like ski boots is difficult, but they are putting out the effort and it's paying off."