‘Mountain Collective’ ski resorts target climate change
Partners • Alta, Snowbird team with other Western ski areas to fight warming trend.
Published: August 6, 2013 11:58AM
Updated: February 14, 2014 11:32PM
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Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo Snowbird ski resort on Dec. 24, 2011. Majority interest in the ski resort was sold to Ian Cumming and his family in May 2014.

Alta, Snowbird and their partner ski resorts in The Mountain Collective are teaming up with the advocacy group Protect Our Winters (POW) to “unite the winter-sport community on the important issue of climate change.”

Mountain Collective resorts will combine efforts with POW, established in 2007 by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones to reduce the impacts of climate changes on winter sports and local economies, on cross-marketing initiatives, education and community-outreach programs to promote environmental sustainability.

A joint release by the resorts and POW noted that the last decade was the warmest on record and that continued warming would reduce the number of ski days each winter, causing “significant economic impact to an industry that supports 965,000 people and contributes $66 billion to the U.S. economy alone.

“Without action to reduce emissions,” the statement added, “scientists predict that by 2039 the Northeast ski season will last less than 100 days and the probability of being open by Christmas will decline below 75 percent.”

Western resorts in The Mountain Collective — Alta, Snowbird, Jackson Hole (Wyo.), Aspen and Snowmass (Colo.), Whistler/Blackcomb (British Columbia), Squaw Valley and Mammoth Lakes (Calif.) — are higher in elevation and typically receive more snow than Northeastern resorts. But they would be hurt badly if a warming climate shortened their seasons at both ends and also deprived them of the powder dumps that have built their reputations.

“Together, we can leverage the power of our brands to promote meaningful climate advocacy that resonates with mountain resorts and snow-sports enthusiasts alike,” said Aspen Skiing Co. marketing vice president Christian Knapp.

POW Executive Director Chris Steinkamp praised the resorts’ collective participation in the climate-change fight, saying it reflected an understanding that they have “a responsibility to protect [our sport] for the long term.”

Mountain Collective passes go on sale Aug. 13. They cost $379 for adults and $239 for children. Passes are good for two days of skiing or riding at each Mountain Collective resort and 50 percent off additional days. Lodging deals also are available to passholders.

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribmikeg