Vail says it’s several steps closer to making the 9.5-acre project at the base of Vail Mountain a reality. This past June, it was accepted into the pilot program for LEED’s new Neighborhood Development certification program, putting it on the path to becoming the largest LEED-certified project for resort use in the U.S. In addition, Vail Resorts has clarified a number of aspects of the project, which are still dependent on certain approvals and agreements.
The development will only use woods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and local area beetle-kill Lodgepole pine trees in building construction. A Vail Valley company is currently working with the U.S. Forest Service to establish a procedure for reclaiming the dying trees to be used in the project. Wherever possible, the Company will purchase and incorporate local and regional “green” materials for construction.
Vail will also incorporate a geothermal process (ground source heat pumps) to harness energy for snowmelt. Fluid within underground coils will collect heat from the earth and distributes it through surface streets and sidewalks to melt the snow.
Small hydro micro-turbines in Gore Creek will power the outdoor streetscape lighting in public areas.
Reclaimed water from snowmelt will be used as gray water in the toilets, rather than using potable water. A closed-loop gray water system will also be used for washing all mountain operations vehicles, such as snowcats and snowmobiles.
Vail will also set up a “flex car” program to minimize vehicle emissions on the I-70 corridor between Denver International Airport and Vail. Vail Resorts will provide a fleet of cars for owners of properties in Ever Vail to use while in town.