Going green is nothing new to Wild Mountain, along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border in the scenic St. Croix River Valley. It's something they've been practicing since the 1980s, according to VP Amy Frischmon.
"We have a real blend of recreational business, and we started thinking ‘green' in the mid-1980s. We've become an increasingly deeper shade of green over the years," she told OnTheSnow. "We have the snow sports area, a water park, alpine slides and go-karts, canoe and kayak rental and scenic boat tours on the river, as well as a campground.
"We have strategies that work well, and we're always searching for new alternatives. It's a never ending process," said the longtime VP, whose dad started the business in the early 1980s.
Wild Mountain has tweaked their lighting over the years replacing fluorescent bulbs with more efficient models, replaced outside Quartz elements to Metal Halide that reduced power demand by over 40-percent. They heat their buildings with ground water heat pumps, 98-percent efficient heaters combined with solar-passive designs.
Their high-tech, high-efficiency SMI snow-making machines require 50-percent less power per cubic foot of water converted into snow. Wild cools water in a hilltop reservoir and gravity feeds it into the snow machine pumping system, to further improve efficiency.
"The near freezing, cooled water enables our snow making machines to produce more snow in less time," Frischmon explained. "We can cover our ski hill, tubing operation and terrain parks in about half the time that it used to take, which also saves on power consumption."
Waste management has been a long standing tradition at Wild Mountain.
"Long before green became an environmental expression, we have been practicing recycling, reducing our landfill contribution by an average of 24 cubic yards per month," she proudly added. "We provide all our used oil and grease products from maintenance vehicles to companies who use it in road paving surfaces. Our cooking oils are transferred to processing plants that recycle it into re-use products.
"Everything at Wild Mountain will be green but the snow," she laughed.