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Ski resorts not so green

August 31, 2004|Charles Duhigg

Ski resorts that participate in the National Ski Area Assn.'s Sustainable Slopes program have a worse environmental record than those that don't, a new survey shows.

The 4-year-old program is a voluntary effort by resort operators to save energy and protect the environment. However, the program has little accountability and participants are less eco-friendly than ski resorts that don't participate, according to two university researchers.

They relied upon a survey by the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition that analyzed a sample of 175 resorts in the program. The professors found many resorts displayed "free-riding behavior" to "improve their 'green' reputation without actually" acting to help the environment.

Professors Jorge Rivera from George Washington University and Peter de Leon of the University of Colorado at Denver conducted the research. Their findings were published in this month's issue of Policy Studies Journal.

The National Ski Area Assn. disputes the findings as a product of what they call the anti-growth bent of the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition.

-- Charles Duhigg

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