The ski industry is unfortunately an energy pit. Nothing about
running a traditional ski area involves energy efficiency. In order to
improve upon efficiency and to reduce the costs and effects low
efficiency buildings have on the environment, ski areas are
implementing LEED certified standards into their new construction
projects. No ski company seems to do this better than Aspen Skiing
Company. Through their initiatives, led by Auden Schendler, the
company has created several LEED certified buildings. These buildings,
although initially more expensive, averaging roughly a 10% increase in
initial cost, are said to be more expensive on the front end, however
the savings in the future far surpass the initial cost. In many cases,
through the addition of better windows, more insulation, and other
measures, the buildings see a decrease in energy needs ranging from
20%-45%. With energy bills easily surpassing into the tens of millions
of dollars annually, these efficiency upgrades make more than a small
dent.  Implementing these standards widely across the industry will
not go unnoticed. The reduction in energy needs not only makes ski
areas more profitable, but they reduce their need on fossil fueled
power. We all know the effects that fossil fuel emissions have on the
atmosphere. These effects directly impact the ski areas by changing
historical weather patterns, decreasing snowfall in one area while
increasing it in another, and shortening the ski season.
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