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Zero Waste To Landfill: Chairlifts

As part of our bold goal to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030, we are focused in three areas: reaching zero net emissions, zero impact on forests and habitat, and zero waste to landfill. 

Part of our Commitment to Zero includes zero waste to landfill by 2030, but when we consider what that includes – from food and beverage to what guest's pack in (and please take out!) to the infrastructure that supports the experience... let’s just say creativity is required.   

Vail Resorts plans to achieve zero waste to landfill through reducing waste at the source, reusing and repurposing; and composting and recycling.  

Our sustainability pledge is at the forefront of all we do. When we announced Epic Lift Upgrade, our largest investment in lifts projects designed to reduce lift line wait times and enhance the experience – we kept our Commitment to Zero in mind.  

In 2022, Park City Mountain replaced, repurposed, and recycled more than 400 chairlift seat pads. The lift operations team removed worn padding and sent materials to MND Group in Colorado, where the material was refreshed into new chairlift seat pads for resort use. Metal bars within the pads were removed and recycled by Western Metals Recycling. The worn-out vinyl seat covers are sent to Recycle Utah and Rocky Mountain Recycling for repurposing. 

The team in Northstar similarly repurposed the towers of the Comstock lift, after the chairlift was replaced with a high-speed quad. While lift towers aren’t typically recycled, Mike Schipani, the terrain park manager at Northstar, had the idea to preserve and repurpose the lift’s 23 towers into new, creative, terrain park features. “We started preparing towers recently, cutting off the existing base and top structure, as well as the safety ladders that are welded to each tower,” Mike explains.  

Mike explains. “We started preparing towers recently, cutting off the existing base and top structure, as well as the safety ladders that are welded to each tower.” During the next few months, the team will construct about 10 straight tubes of different lengths that will be used to create unique features in a variety of shapes and sizes. Furthermore, Mike is excited to build creative shapes with the towers, such as an elbow tube and a down-flat-down tube, that will make Northstar’s terrain parks even more epic! 

It takes every team member working together, and creatively, to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030. As a company, we will continue to invest in them and their experience, so they can focus on not just delivering an Experience of a Lifetime for our guests, and doing it in a way that builds a better future for us all.  

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