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Heavenly Lodging

Heavenly Environmental and Community Programs

Heavenly Mountains

Much like the living world, social responsibility and sustainability are inherently essential to Vail Resorts.  We created Echo to nurture and enliven social responsibility in our company and to connect stakeholders in a new way to the diverse and growing elements that make up our efforts.

Environmental stewardship is an important part of life in Lake Tahoe. Our proximity to the Lake makes it one of the most unique and awe-inspiring places to live, work and play. That proximity also means that nearly everything we do impacts the Lake, and the community and businesses must act as environmental stewards in order to preserve our precious gift.

Heavenly Mountain Resort has embraced this aspect of Tahoe living, implementing a host of environmentally-friendly business practices designed to protect and preserve the unique natural beauty of the lands on which we ski and ride.

Environmental Education

• Heavenly protects the Tahoe Draba, a sensitive, high-alpine plant species unique to the Lake Tahoe Basin, through management activities including protective exclusion fencing, interpretive information for guests, employee training and avoidance.
• Now in its ninth season, Heavenly has partnered with the USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to offer the Winter Trek Program, an environmental education program for 5th graders that takes place at the top of the Heavenly Gondola.
• Heavenly serves as a committee member of the Tahoe Earth Day Foundation which strives to educate the general public regarding the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region’s unique beauty and how to preserve and protect it.

• Heavenly partners with the US Forest Service to offer Free On Hill Ski With a Ranger tours during ski season on Mondays and Fridays. Tours meet at the top of the Gondola at 10am and 1pm. Read More

Conservation and Recycling Programs

• Beginning in 2012, Heavenly and Vail Resorts Echo partnered with the Tahoe Fund to raise money for the National Forests of the Lake Tahoe Basin by  asking guests to contribute $1 for each season pass or lift ticket they buy. The Tahoe fund is a new organization that will initiate forest restoration and water quality projects in and around the Lake Tahoe region.

• Beginning in August of 2006, Heavenly and Vail Resorts partnered with the National Forest Foundation to raise funds for the National Forests of the Lake Tahoe Basin by asking guests to contribute $1 for each season pass or lift ticket they buy. The NFF uses the money for forest conservation projects.
• In partnership with Sierra Pacific Power, Heavenly Mountain Resort gave away 12,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs to their California resident employees in 2008. This program will lead to a total lifetime energy savings of 3,432,000 kWh. This is the equivalent of keeping 7,718,568 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
• Heavenly has partnered with El Dorado County and South Tahoe Refuse for source separation of trash, preventing its recyclables from being sent to the landfill. In 2012 Heavenly launched the Blue Bag program at all of it’s lodges to further increase recycling diversion. Since 2006 South Tahoe Refuse has increased it’s landfill diversion rate from 38% to 67% in 2011.

• 'Compost Your Combustibles' is an annual event hosted by Heavenly and coordinated with the Tahoe-Douglas Fire District and South Tahoe Refuse. This program encourages locals to bring their yard wastes to Heavenly for source separation and re-use on the mountain for summer erosion control. Through this program Heavenly diverted 600 tons of waste from going to the landfill in 2011.
• Heavenly’s lodges have been outfitted with low-flow fixtures to conserve water at Lake Tahoe.
• Heavenly is using low-phosphorous cleaning products throughout the resort.
• Heavenly has signed an agreement with Bently Biofuels for the collection and purchase of Heavenly’s used fry oil for Biofuel production. 
• During the 2007-2008 ski season, Heavenly switched to serving entrées in reusable baskets and using reusable silverware, leading to a decrease in waste production while also saving energy and water.
• All four new on-mountain lodges and restaurants will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles.

• Heavenly’s Tamarack Lodge is LEED certified and the recent recipient of a Best in Basin award from The TRPA for excellence in design.
• Heavenly’s lodges have been retrofitted with energy efficient lighting and heating for a significant decrease in energy consumption.
• New trail prescriptions are being implemented that balance reducing energy and water consumption with the conservation of micro-habitat for wildlife and soil resources.

Water-Air Quality Programs

    • Heavenly currently implements and attains a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for
      suspended sediment on Heavenly Valley Creek. It was the first of its kind in the Lake
      Tahoe Basin.
    • With the help of the USDA Forest Service, Heavenly has created and implemented the
      Ski Area Cumulative Watershed Effects Restoration Program. Each summer since the
      mid-1990’s, Heavenly has actively implemented remedial erosion control and
      re-vegetation projects to improve water quality and reduce soil erosion from ski runs
      and summer maintenance roads.
    • Heavenly has spent three-quarters of a million dollars installing a new storm water 
      management facility at the Boulder Lodge and parking lot.
    • In the summer of 2008, Heavenly implemented Phase 3 of a multi-million dollar, 
      three-phase storm water management project at the California Main Lodge and parking
    • Heavenly recently completed a storm water treatment system for the Upper Maintenance
      Shop to improve water quality.
    • In sum, all of Heavenly’s on-mountain watershed protection projects and storm water 
      management help reduce nutrient and sediment loads in Lake Tahoe, thus helping us
      protect its world-famous clarity.

Erosion Control Programs

    • Heavenly is a founding member of the California Alpine Resorts Environmental
      Cooperative (CAREC), an organization made up of several Sierra Nevada ski resorts
      and the State of California Water Resources Control Board, designed to develop, test
      and share information on erosion control, revegetation and water quality protection.
    • Heavenly pioneered the use of water bars on its runs to help reduce soil erosion.
    • In 2007, Heavenly completed a comprehensive Stream Environment Zone Restoration
      project on Edgewood Creek leading to enhanced sediment retention, a significant
      increase in riparian habitat, and additional nutrient uptake potential.


Vail Resorts Echo Program-
• 10% Energy reduction goal achieved in 2011, future goal is the “Next 10” energy reduction by 2020.
• Over 6 million in cash and in-kind donations given to local communities where we operate our world class resorts and Properties.
• Echo Day 2011-Company wide volunteer day where nearly 800 employees rebuilt trails, built a playground, and planted thousands of trees.
• Locally here at Heavenly over 120 employees helped plant over 1000 sugar pine seedlings in the Van Sickle Statepark, near the Gondola fire scar area. Heavenly had the best overall participation rate.

• Heavenly has partnered with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service and Mt. Rose Ski Area to undertake genetic testing of the Tahoe Draba with the goal of preparing a long-term conservation strategy and management plan to ensure the success of the species.
• Heavenly works closely with and financially supports the Tahoe-Baikal Institute, a non-profit organization established to help preserve mountain lake watersheds, including, and especially, Lake Tahoe and Russia’s Lake Baikal (the world’s largest freshwater lake). TBI provides training, education and exchange, original research opportunities, and hands-on project experience for young people and professionals who wish to become involved in efforts to save our global environment.
• Heavenly serves as a founding co-chair of the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition, a public-private partnership that implements an annual legislative agenda designed to bring state and federal funds to Lake Tahoe in order to implement restoration projects throughout the Basin which help the region attain and maintain the adopted Environmental Threshold Carrying Capacity standards.
• Heavenly serves as a member of the Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee which oversees and directs the implementation of the Federal Lake Tahoe Restoration Act.

Master Plan Monitoring and Reporting

The following annual report contains environmental monitoring and reporting information required as part of the Heavenly Mountain Resort Master Plan. This report is published annually and is based on information gathered throughout the prior operating year. If you have questions or comments, please contact fpapandrea@vailresorts.com.

TRPA Reports

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