Snowmaking Upgrades and Energy Savings
Upgrades to Keystone’s snowmaking system since 2003 have automated parts of the system and resulted in a 33% greater capacity, better snow quality, and a 25% increase in electrical efficiency. Automated snow guns on five major trails represent the latest in snowmaking technology. These new guns use 50% less electricity than the guns they replaced. In 2010, we renovated our snowmaking equipment on North Peak for the Prospector trail, creating more efficiency and earlier openings. In 2011, we renovated the snowmaking equipment on Silverspoon Trail.
4-Stroke and Fuel-Injected 2-Stroke Snowmobiles
Keystone is upgrading its snowmobile fleet with more efficient 4-stroke and fuel-injected 2-stroke snowmobiles. These new snowmobiles reduce emissions by 85-90%, are more fuel efficient, quieter, and are expected to last longer than the conventional 2-stroke snowmobiles they replace. Since 2008, we've reduced our overall fuel consumption by 12%.
Night Skiing Lighting Improvements
In 1999, Keystone completed a 3-year project to upgrade the night ski lights. High-pressure sodium lamps were replaced with visor-fitted metal halide lamps. The results are a 50% reduction in ambient light pollution, improved efficiency, protection of the night sky, and better safety and visibility for night skiing.
As part of an ongoing resort-wide lighting upgrade, Keystone is replacing fluorescent bulbs and lighting fixtures with higher efficiency components and lower watt bulbs. The upgrades yield energy savings of up to 140 kWh per fixture per year. Other benefits include reduced maintenance and higher quality lighting. In the summer of 2004, light fixtures upgraded in the Keystone Conference Center and Administration Building will yield an estimated electrical savings of over 200,000 kWh per year, thereby preventing the emission of over 150 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. So far Vail Resorts Inc. has achieved a 10% overall reduction in electricity and natural gas consumption in 2011.
In 2004, Keystone converted the Ranch Homestead from propane power to solar power. This solar electric system will produce up to 2,400 watt-hours per day – enough to light the Homestead’s facilities for guests participating in dinner sleigh rides. Solar panels also help power the lights at the River Run information center and help heat the pools at Eastlake and Soda Springs.
Keystone’s laundry facility has been designed to help cut down on water usage. The washer uses 9/10 of a gallon of water per pound of soiled linen rather than the 2.5 gallons of water are per pound in traditional washers. The clean water enters the washer through the rinse cycles and is then transferred to the wash cycles, thus reusing the water. After the water reuse process, the soiled water is sent to the sewer. Lastly, clean water that is pressed from the linen is sent back to the reuse tank to also be used for the wash cycle. In the fall of 2004, the Keystone Laundry added a water conditioning system that reduced water use by an additional 20% and chemical use by 30%. Overall, these upgrades to the Keystone Laundry save over 11 MILLION gallons of water annually.
In-Room Environmental Program
Guests staying at Keystone operated lodging are encouraged to reduce water use by participating in our in-room environmental program. Each guest room contains a card which allows them to choose to keep the same sheets and re-hang towels so that each set of sheets and towels is not washed each day, thus helping us to cut down on water consumption.
Lodge Water Savings
The Keystone Lodge has upgraded all 153 rooms to 1.6 gallon toilets (from 3.5 gallons per flush), 2.5 gallon per minute (gpm) bathroom faucets (from 5 gpm) and 2.5 gpm showerheads (from 7 gpm). Resulting water savings are estimated at 117 gallons of water per room day, or 4 million gallons per year.