Editor's note - Tyler Fairbank is Chief Executive Officer of The Fairbank Group, which manages Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancockand other outdoor resort areas. Jiminy Peak recently won an AIM Sustainability Award.
As a ski resort, it’s not surprising that the environment is something we pay close attention to at Jiminy Peak.
Winters’ remaining cold is vital to the future of our business. In addition, environmental consciousness is something that is important to people in our world right now. We want our guests to feel good about the choice to ski at Jiminy and bring their children here.
As much as it is important to make sustainability efforts for reasons such as these, it is equally important to the bottom line of the company. It takes a lot of energy to operate a ski resort for 120 days a season; have lodging, restaurants and events taking place year round; and have summer activities run during the warmer months. We rely on snowmaking to provide our guests with the best on-snow experience and we are open nightly throughout the season with 21 of our trails lit for skiing. It is therefore imperative to our success as a business to take steps to reduce our reliance on the grid and, thus, our electric bill.
Sustainability is not new for us - it began many years ago. We began with small things, like changing out light bulbs, and quickly grew to much larger items, including the construction of a reservoir at the summit that allows us to feed water down the mountain via gravity for snowmaking.
Perhaps our most iconic initiative, and the project that brought a national focus to Jiminy’s efforts, was the construction of our 1.5 MW GE wind turbine during the summer of 2007. Most recently, we partnered with Nexamp to install the largest community shared solar project in the Northeast and replaced our snowguns and a portion of our lighting for skiing with much more energy efficient technology.
As a result of our efforts we have now reached 100 percent renewable - but that doesn’t mean we stop here. This is something that is now part of our DNA and we will continue to seek ways to reduce our costs for the health of our business as well as the future of the ski industry.