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State Ski Trade Associations Unite Behind Climate Action

After the  announcement from the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) to form the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership to provide leadership on climate change, leaders of several state ski area trade associations including Colorado Ski Country USA, Ski Utah, Ski California, Ski Vermont, Ski Areas of New York, Ski New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association released the following statement.

“Pursuit of climate change solutions is a defining issue for ski areas across the United States. Many meaningful solutions are possible with action at the state and regional level. As economic drivers in our respective states we urge policy makers to understand that we can’t wait for lasting, bipartisan action to reduce carbon emissions, promote energy innovation and support a rapid, responsible transition to a clean energy economy. We applaud and join with the broader outdoor recreation community and the National Ski Areas Association as they pledge leadership and advocacy for climate solutions across the country. We pledge to do the same with our respective state advocacy efforts.”

Comments from the leaders of each state association are below.

“The ski industry in Colorado employs nearly 50,000 people and our 23-member ski areas take the threat of climate change seriously,” said Melanie Mills, President and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “In Colorado, our policy team advocates for policies at the Capitol and the Public Utilities Commission to expand renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and mitigate the impacts of climate change. We will continue to engage with state and local elected officials and leaders to support forward thinking climate solutions.”

“Utah’s ski resorts are committed to mitigating their environmental impacts and protecting our communities for future generations to enjoy,” said Ski Utah President & CEO Nathan Rafferty. “We actively engage with and support forward-thinking policies at the state and local level, such as HCR7 which passed in Utah last year, that recognize the impacts of climate change and the need for viable solutions.”
"Our 32-member resorts in California and Nevada are thrilled to join our fellow ski states in supporting action for climate solutions,” said Mike Reitzell, President of Ski California. “As an industry, we can make an impact through advocacy, innovation, and collaboration with the legislature, guests, and other industries. California enjoys the largest outdoor recreation economy in the United States; and as a state, continues to be a leader on climate initiatives. Climate action requires the efforts of many, not the few. Our ski industry will continue to be part of the solution.”

“Ski Vermont’s 20 alpine and 30 cross country member areas collectively bring over $925M in direct spending into the state each winter, two thirds of which is spent in surrounding communities,” said Ski Vermont President Molly Mahar. “The ski industry is not only an important economic driver, it is an integral part of Vermont’s history, culture and lifestyle. We recognize that climate change is a threat, so as we work toward expanded energy efficiency and other solutions to mitigate climate change in our small state, it is critical that we join with other ski states and regions across the country to advance the national conversation and to seek creative solutions.”

“As the trade association representing New York’s ski industry, we have over 50 ski areas, the most in the US,” said Scott Brandi, President of Ski Areas of New York. “We employ 14,000 people and have a one-billion-dollar impact to the economy of upstate New York. We support solutions and a proactive approach to climate change. Working with New York State Energy and Research Development Authority we recently obtained a large grant for energy efficient snowmaking equipment and we will continue to work with state and local governments to develop solutions to the climate change issue.”

“The ski industry in New Mexico is big business during the winter time attracting over 800,000 visitors each year and climate change impacts all of us,” said George Brooks, Executive Director of Ski New Mexico. “We stand with our fellow partners in trying to effect change in a positive way. The ski industry in New Mexico will do our part to effect change.”

“At our annual operations conference we feel it is important to reserve educational space where our membership can gather to share ideas and best practices regarding climate change solutions,” said Jordan Elliott, the President of the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association. “Our advocacy on this important issue crosses state lines and we are proud to work closely with the recreational community at large.”

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