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Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,858,314 times
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"Half of all alpine ski areas in the United States, including the big names of Vail, Aspen and Lake Tahoe, are on public land, and many of them are faced with the choice of expanding or going out of business. “A ski resort, to remain competitive, has to hit certain dates. They have to guarantee they’ll be open by Thanksgiving, Christmas at the latest,” said Jim Bedwell, director of the Forest Service’s Recreation and Heritage Resources." [1]


Just be glad you are not skiing in Arizona—unless with a taste for sewage.

As of this year, 100% of water used for snow making will be treated sewage. Not to worry, says the US Forest Service (those best known for logging), as this treated affluent will only be a grade or so below potable. So not legally drinkable, should one end up with a mouthful of snow, but still something they are already applying to the lawns in parks and places one may be elsewhere.

Meanwhile, those of the Navajo Nation are not at all pleased, as San Francisco Peak, where the Arizona Snowbowl ski area is located just outside of Flagstaff, AZ, is one of four mythically sacred mountains to them. Nor at all happy that expansion of this ski area will see the clear cutting of a further 74 acres of forest. Environmental groups have weighed in as well, along with these Native Americans feeling that the introduction of a lot of less than pure water will do nothing good for the local ecosystem, possibly polluting groundwater.

Who knows, this might be the next great thing coming soon to a ski area and community near you. The impetus for this in Arizona is money (as usual), and also the growing lack of water due our changing climate. Issues the entire Southwest, including Colorado, will be grappling with in decades to come.

1) 'Resort’s Snow Won’t Be Pure This Year; It’ll Be Sewage,' The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/us...r.html?_r=2&hp
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 12,560,331 times
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I only know of a few ski areas use potable water for snow making.
Most snow making water comes out of ponds, rivers, lakes and wells.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:36 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,174,647 times
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Here's my prediction: A few of the big areas may expand, and many of the rest will, indeed, go out of business. The truth is that nearly everything is turning against the ski industry in Colorado and the Southwest--demographics, climate change, water scarcity (for snowmaking), , economic costs, energy costs, etc. The industry is already in signs of decline--the major sign being predatory competition and consolidation. That will accelerate--the stronger areas buying up the weaker ones, and often simply closing them to eliminate competition.

People also fail to understand that most ski operations really make their money on land development--a component that absolutely depends on high levels of discretionary spending ability in its customer base that, contrary to popular belief, contains a large component of the middle and upper-middle class whose discretionary spending ability has been decimated in the last few years and will likely continue to be ravaged. Without that land development component, most ski areas become marginally viable, at best.

The final component is that more and more people are waking up to the fact that the ski industry is not the "green" and environmentally friendly industry that it has been hyped to be. In fact, the industry, especially the land development component, is having serious negative effects on everything from water quality to wildlife habitat. The only thing that has kept the industry somewhat immune from attack for its environmental record is that many of the people active in the environmental movement are the very people occupying those fancy developments and trophy houses in the ski communities. Those hypocrites are more than willing to stay silent about THEIR negative impact on the mountain environment, but there is a growing cadre of conservationists (and I am one) who are becoming intolerant of that kind of hypocrisy and are starting to rally against the wanton destruction of the Rocky Mountain West's most sensitive lands just so a bunch of people can have a place to goof off.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 12,560,331 times
Reputation: 3546
I have to agree with you,
Most ski areas were built on the premise, "if you built it they will come" and when they do they will buy land and build a house.

and I also agree there is not much that is green about a ski area.

The climate, there has been a industry bragging rights (ego) to be open first
as technology and the invention of snow inducers used in snow making water has pushed the envelop of snow making possibility.

Thanksgiving use to be a maybe then technology came along.
Maybe opening day will be pushed back to just before x-mass.
Remember a ski area makes most of it's revenue during x-mass and on the weekends, I think they figure on 64days of profit for the ski season.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Here's my prediction: A few of the big areas may expand, and many of the rest will, indeed, go out of business. The truth is that nearly everything is turning against the ski industry in Colorado and the Southwest--demographics, climate change, water scarcity (for snowmaking), , economic costs, energy costs, etc. The industry is already in signs of decline--the major sign being predatory competition and consolidation. That will accelerate--the stronger areas buying up the weaker ones, and often simply closing them to eliminate competition.

People also fail to understand that most ski operations really make their money on land development--a component that absolutely depends on high levels of discretionary spending ability in its customer base that, contrary to popular belief, contains a large component of the middle and upper-middle class whose discretionary spending ability has been decimated in the last few years and will likely continue to be ravaged. Without that land development component, most ski areas become marginally viable, at best.

The final component is that more and more people are waking up to the fact that the ski industry is not the "green" and environmentally friendly industry that it has been hyped to be. In fact, the industry, especially the land development component, is having serious negative effects on everything from water quality to wildlife habitat. The only thing that has kept the industry somewhat immune from attack for its environmental record is that many of the people active in the environmental movement are the very people occupying those fancy developments and trophy houses in the ski communities. Those hypocrites are more than willing to stay silent about THEIR negative impact on the mountain environment, but there is a growing cadre of conservationists (and I am one) who are becoming intolerant of that kind of hypocrisy and are starting to rally against the wanton destruction of the Rocky Mountain West's most sensitive lands just so a bunch of people can have a place to goof off.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,223,506 times
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I'm pretty sure using non-potable water isn't limited to ski resorts. Many cities water parks with this type of water too. I don't see the need to make snow with potable water. Seems like a big waste of money.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
220 posts, read 430,628 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I'm pretty sure using non-potable water isn't limited to ski resorts. Many cities water parks with this type of water too. I don't see the need to make snow with potable water. Seems like a big waste of money.
Definitely. Reclaimed water is used to water parks and golf courses, in concrete production, industrial facilities, the list goes on and on. Huge waste of resources to use well water or surface water to make snow.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 12,560,331 times
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I agree waste water is used quite a lot but you can't waste water.
So they pumped it out of a pond, river or out of a well.
Then they made snow with it, the snow melts retiring it to the water shed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRScott View Post
Definitely. Reclaimed water is used to water parks and golf courses, in concrete production, industrial facilities, the list goes on and on. Huge waste of resources to use well water or surface water to make snow.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,661,191 times
Reputation: 1682
A big "so what?" on this one. Untreated water taken directly from the most pristeen lakes and rivers is also classified as non-potable. Where do you think the fish and the deer poop and pee, anyway?
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
220 posts, read 430,628 times
Reputation: 293
And I really dont care. I'm gonna board at Snowbowl at least ten or twelve times this season. As long as the water tests "absent" for Total Coliforms I'm ok with it.
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