FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelly Ladyga, 303-404-1862, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct. 5, 2009 - Broomfield, Colo. - Today, Vail Resorts announced the renaming of its comprehensive efforts aimed at protecting the environment, social responsibility and community engagement as the Vail Resorts ECHO. Vail Resorts ECHO will encompass three core efforts -- charitable giving, volunteerism and environmental stewardship – and replaces the prior name for the program “Vail Resorts 360”.
“As part of our almost year long process in putting together our recently announced Hayman Restoration Partnership, we learned more about the goals and ideals of our entire corporate responsibility efforts. We realized that these efforts are aimed at mitigating our “footprint” on the environment and on our communities,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer for Vail Resorts. “But even more important, it’s the impact our actions and behavior can have with our guests and our communities as we look to stake out leadership positions on important issues. It’s how what we do resonates and is amplified with our five stakeholders: our employees, shareholders, guests, communities and the environment. We feel the word “echo” is in better keeping with our goals and will offer a better connection with our guests. It is our hope that Vail Resorts ECHO continues to reverberate positively in the places where we live, work and play for generations to come.”
Through Vail Resorts ECHO, the Company commits to continuing its leadership role in environmental stewardship. Currently, Vail Resorts ECHO is focused on healthy forests and clean water through its partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation on the Hayman Restoration Partnership, the state’s largest forest restoration project, and one of the largest public-private partnerships of its kind in the country. The Company is also significantly reducing our energy consumption with a stated goal of a 10 percent reduction by the end of 2010. In the first year of the project, Vail Resorts achieved a 6 percent reduction. Bringing together a comprehensive environmental program, Vail Resorts ECHO also is:
• Continuing the substantial recycling program - the largest on-mountain program in the world. Last year, Vail Resorts recycled more than 6000 pounds.
• An EPA Energy Star partner that places the Company among many industry leaders working to advance energy conservation and efficiency.
• Better serving guests through the innovative Appetite for Life program, which brings high quality, organic and natural food – and new this year, gluten-free items - to the Company’s on-mountain restaurants and five-star resort dining experiences.
• Partnering with the University of Colorado to create green building standards and a large-scale database of green materials for all contractors and developers to use, and that Vail Resorts will apply to all projects both on and off the mountain.
• Committing to green development, including the proposed LEEDs-certified EverVail project, the Green Globes approved One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge and many more.
• Planning to eliminate all internally used paper by the end of 2011.
• Identifying locations for on-site alternative energy generation
• Maintaining and growing a comprehensive composting program at selected resorts.
• Promoting/offering “Green Guest Rooms”, green weddings, events and meetings to our guests.
In addition, Vail Resorts and the National Forest Foundation, the non-profit arm of the U.S. Forest Service, have partnered to raise up to $500,000 per year for local conservation projects that improve and enhance the forests in and around our resorts. This guest donation program has helped local non-profits build trails, improve wildlife habitat, mitigate pine beetle effects and improve the overall health of the White River and Lake Tahoe forests. Building on the success of this program, Vail Resorts has developed similar guest donation programs including:
• National Park Foundation: New this year, Snake River Lodge and Spa and the Jackson Tennis & Golf Club joined the Grand Teton Lodging Company with a guest donation program to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation to fund wildlife initiatives and conservation programs.
• Hyde Sate Park: La Posada has just introduced a guest donation program to benefit Santa Fe’s Hyde State Park for trail and steam restoration.
To bring a more focused approach to its charitable giving in local communities, Vail Resorts ECHO has two defined areas of focus – youth and environment - for all contributions. Last year, Vail Resorts contributed $5 million in cash and in-kind support to more than 100 local non-profits across the resort communities. These dollars and donations supported programs to benefit our kids and our environment including:
• Critical local foundations- The Vail Valley Foundation, The Summit Foundation and The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole
• SOS Outreach, which gives underserved kids a chance for a mountain experience while providing mentoring and leadership development
• Summit Community Care Clinic’s Kids’ Health Checks
• Eagle River Watershed Council’s Highway and River Clean Up projects
• The Youth Foundation and the Kids in Community after school program
• Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties as the exclusive “Green” Partner on its LEED-certified Fox Hollow Project
• Lake Tahoe Youth and Family Services
• Family and Intercultural Resource Center’s early childhood development program and support for the food bank
• The Keystone Science School’s innovative Third Grade Local Ecosystems science program
Local leadership of Vail Resorts ECHO will announce grants and in-kind donations in late October. Non-profits interested in learning more about the process should contact Nicky DeFord at email@example.com or at 720-524-5020.
Vail Resorts employees are committed to making a tangible difference in their communities and Vail Resorts ECHO will better enable every employee to volunteer time.
• Just this past year, 250 Vail Resorts employees worked on 7 local community volunteer projects in Summit and Eagle Counties as well as South Lake Tahoe, CA. Vail Resorts employees planted more than 1000 trees in local forests, helped clean up efforts to protect the Eagle and Platte Rivers and built homes for local children.
• Vail Resorts will commit 1500 hours of volunteer time to help with the Hayman Restoration Partnership over the next three years, allowing employees to take a hands-on approach to one of the most critical forest restoration projects in the state.
• Starting in 2010, Vail Resorts ECHO will host a company-wide volunteer day, bringing together every division of the company and non-profits for one day in late spring to work on local community projects.
For more information on Vail Resorts ECHO, including information about the Company’s environmental efforts, grants and donations, please go www.vailresorts.com or call Nicky DeFord at 720-524-5020.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc. is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, the Heavenly Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.