Welcome to the 2022 Arapahoe Basin sustainability report, covering the ski area's 2021-2022 ski and ride season, our 75th in operation.
In 2022, A-Basin received the Golden Eagle Award from the National Ski Areas Association in recognition of the many ways we tackle environmental work from climate action, political advocacy, and guest education to all of our on-site efforts. Below you will find an overview of achievements in our ongoing quest to be carbon neutral by 2025.
The biggest news of last season was the replacement of the Lenawee Mountain Lift. As with any major project, A-Basin and the Forest Service worked closely to avoid environmental impacts. A total of just five trees were cut during the lift’s installation. Reuse of existing tower footers avoided dozens of individual disturbances in the alpine. A helicopter and a spider hoe were employed again, completely avoiding new roads and the use of heavy, ground-disturbing equipment, further preserving these sensitive alpine plants and soils.
The tediously constructed Wall (you read about it in Al’s blog) kept the lift’s bottom terminal from encroaching on any of the nearby wetlands. The old chairlift, still in good working order, even got a second chance at life as it was carefully disassembled and installed at another nearby resort, avoiding tons of waste and significant impacts. All told, the Lenawee replacement was a shining example of collaboration, communication, planning, and execution when it comes to major ski area improvements.
Sustainability is baked into every A-Basin project, including expanding existing solar arrays while finishing work on Steilhang and Il Rifugio last season. In January, the Basin’s first electric vehicle charging infrastructure came online. Ten, Level II charging ports opened for business in the front row of the Early Riser parking lot. The charging stations, free for the first year and located in the best parking spots at the mountain, further incentivized the sustainable behavior already exhibited by our guests. They also helped fill a critical charging gap along the I-70 travel corridor and help make possible an all-electric trip to the mountains and ski areas like A-Basin.
During the summer, A-Basin staff, alongside the US Forest Service and expert ecologists, hydrologists, and soil scientists, completed work on a major wetland and streambed restoration at the old Norway Lift site (pictured above). The project addressed decades-old environmental impacts and committed A-Basin to ongoing stewardship and restoration efforts all over the mountain.
Even our new mountain bike trail, The Beavers Loop, was built to high standards. We contracted with the pros at IMBA Trail Solutions -- leaders in sustainable trail development -- to design and build our 5-mile, bike-only descent from the summit to the base. The project involved a great deal of handwork, revegetation, and careful avoidance of sensitive areas.
That's just a sample of our efforts last ski season and last year. Click through the full report for details on our emissions, waste diversion, renewable energy, water usage, and more. Or, watch our award-winning Sustainability Sunday video series.
As stewards of an exceptional mountain environment, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is committed to providing quality outdoor recreation experiences. Our staff and guests realize that Arapahoe Basin is a priceless natural treasure. We strive to continually improve our environmental performance in order to provide enjoyment of Arapahoe Basin for future generations of snow and mountain enthusiasts.