Friday, October 5, 2007

The $1 Billion Green Development in Hotspot of Rich and Famous

--fashion + travel + music--

Vail Resorts, Inc., the largest mountain resort operator in the United States has just announced plans to build a $1 BILLION Ever Vail multi-resort development. The project will be the largest LEED-certified, multi use resort development in the United States.

"The mission of Vail Resorts is to provide exceptional experiences at our extraordinary resorts," said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "What we are announcing with the Ever Vail development is completely aligned with two of our most important stakeholders -- the spectacular natural environment that serves as the backdrop of Vail Mountain and the local community in which we operate."

The development, known as the Ever Vail Project, will be set on 9.5-acres at the base of Vail Mountain. This past June, Ever Vail was accepted into the pilot program for LEED's new "Neighborhood Development" certification program, putting it on the path to becoming then largest LEED-certified project for resort use in the U.S.

The company undertook extensive research and consulting with various green building sources, and plans on undertaking many innovative eco-sensitive measures to ensure that the project will be an icon for the town and a source of pride for the entire Vail Valley community. These measure include,

  • Use only 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.
  • Incorporate a geothermal process (ground source heat pumps) to harness energy that would be used for snowmelt. Coils of durable material are embedded deep into the earth below. A fluid within the coil collects heat from the earth and distributes it through surface streets and sidewalks to melt the snow
  • Install small hydro micro-turbines in Gore Creek to power the outdooor streetscape lighting in public areas.
  • Preserve and enhance existing wetlands and Red Sandstone Creek through a new storm water runoff management system.
  • Include significant affordable housing on-site (see below), helping to meet many of the diversity requirements of the LEED program.
  • Use reclaimed water from snowmelt for use as "gray water" in the toilets, rather than using potable water. Create a "closed-loop" gray water system for washing all mountain operations vehicles, such as snowcats and snowmobiles at the site of the new mountain operations maintenance yard. Finally, use a large amount of reclaimed water from the snowmelt system to augment flows in Red Sandstone Creek.
  • Orient all buildings to maximize the natural light, thereby creating greater energy efficiency.
  • Incorporate green, living roofs on several of the buildings within the project. A "green" roof is a system in which natural materials such as soil and indigenous grasses cover the roof structure to help reduce solar heat accumulation and storm water runoff.
  • Implement an erosion control program so as to mitigate any potential erosion during construction.
  • Establish a "flex car" program to minimize vehicle emissions on theI-70 corridor between Denver International Airport and Vail. Vail Resorts would provide a fleet of cars for owners of properties in Ever Vail to use while in town, thereby reducing the total number of cars in the valley and encouraging owners to use shuttle service and public transportation to and from the valley.

"Our announcement today is just the beginning of many more to come
about our efforts to make sure Ever Vail is on the cutting edge of green
building," said Katz. "We hope it will become a symbol of our intrinsic
relationship with the spectacular mountain environment in which we

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