OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. June 3, 2008 – Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) took home three major awards for marketing, environmental and safety programs at the annual National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) convention on Friday, May 30, 2008 in San Francisco, where it was also announced that the industry continues to grow with a preliminary estimate of 61.1 million skier visits nationwide for the 2007/2008 season, making this the best ski season on record.
Aspen/Snowmass won the NSAA Best Overall Marketing Program for resorts with 500,000+ skier days. This was achieved by distributing 40,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to the company's customers.
By distributing these light bulbs, 10 million pounds of CO2 emissions were saved, which is the equivalent to planting 1,435 trees annually or removing 910 cars off the road every year.
"Our goal with this program was to raise awareness about global climate change and to change behavior – changing one light bulb can make a difference," says Jeanne Mackowski, the company's VP of Marketing. "We are honored to be recognized by NSAA for our efforts."
In addition to an environmentally charged marketing campaign, ASC was presented by Clif Bar & Co. with the Silver Eagle Award for Environmental Education. NSAA cited the "Save Snow ad campaign, congressional testimony, a Kimberly-Clark boycott and development of solar energy at a utility scale" as reasons for receiving this award.
This season, the company ran Save Snow ads in major magazines including Outside, Freeskier, Powder and Transworld Snowboarding. The ads featured Aspen/Snowmass Team Athletes Gretchen Bleiler, Chris Davenport, Peter Olenick and encouraged guests to educate themselves and take action towards climate change at www.savesnow.org <http://www.savesnow.org/> .
Within the last year, ASC supported and won a Supreme Court lawsuit asking the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Auden Schendler, ASC's Executive Director of Sustainability, testified before Congress, combating for auto and other industries to address global warming pollution.
ASC also took notable action by partnering with several local entities to install the largest solar panel array in western Colorado (and the largest in the ski industry) at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) in Carbondale, Colo. A 150kW array will be installed at CRMS this summer and will power the school's science building with excess energy feeding into the Town of Carbondale's power grid. Each year, the panel will produce 200,000 kWh (enough power for 20 average American homes) and keep 400,000 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the air.
For the sixth year in a row Aspen Skiing Company won an NSAA Heads Up National Ski Area Safety Award for the "Best Employee Involvement and Education Program." Several initiatives, both internally and externally, earned the company this prestigious award.
The Mountain Awareness Program incorporated employee ownership of safety initiatives throughout ASC as well as rejuvenated employee safety awareness. The program's initiatives trickled down to the community and guests through increased educational opportunities and an increased on-mountain presence.
Presentations featuring Aspen/Snowmass Team Athletes and safety videos were hosted for hundreds of students throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. Terrain Park safety education was increased on-mountain and was branded as "Smart Style" to entice park users' interest. Also improving on-mountain awareness were beacon and avalanche demos as well as increased Ski Patrol presence on a daily basis.
"We have received a safety award consecutively for six years," says Rich Burkley, VP of Mountain Operations. "It's a testament to our team that we are not only creative, but effective in getting the safety message across with an integrated effort which reaches everyone from young children to adults."
The National Ski Areas Association, headquartered in Lakewood, Colo., is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 326 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods and services to the mountain resort industry. For more information on the NSAA National Convention, the Growth Model or a host of other NSAA programs visit www.nsaa.org <http://www.nsaa.org/>
Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (70 miles from Aspen). For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, or visit the company's website at