BROOMFIELD, Colo., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vail Resorts, Inc. has announced more detailed plans for making the $1 billion Ever Vail the largest LEED-certified, multi-use resort development project in the nation. "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." Vail Resorts is now several steps closer to making the 9.5-acre Ever Vail project at the base of Vail Mountain a reality. 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 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 will be presented to the Town of Vail staff as part of its approval process. After conducting extensive research and consulting with various green building sources, the Company plans to undertake the following innovative eco-sensitive measures to ensure that the project can be an icon for the town and a source of pride for the entire Vail Valley community. -- 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 outdoor 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 the I-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. Ever Vail is located on a true "Brownfield" site at the base of Vail Mountain, currently known as West LionsHead, and will consist of over one million square feet of mixed-use space including residences, a hotel, offices, retail shops and restaurants, mountain operations facilities, a public parking garage, a new gondola and related skier portal and a public park. The LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, established February 2007, integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design. "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 operate." As an important piece in creating a vibrant, year-round community in Ever Vail, Vail Resorts is proposing to include 123 beds within the project in what will likely be the most desirable affordable, deed-restricted housing available for purchase in the Vail Valley. The studio, one- and two-bedroom units will range in size from approximately 900 to 1,600 square feet and will be designed to attract singles, couples and families interested in living in a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly community with a mix of retail, restaurants and public amenities all within walking distance at the base of Vail Mountain. "We believe this is the most significant on-site affordable housing commitment ever proposed for a real estate project in Vail," said Katz. "In addition to the affordable housing, our decision to include over 50 percent of our employee housing requirement on site is the right decision for both Ever Vail and the community." The Company's initiatives and plans expressed today are subject to receipt of all required government approvals and finalization of necessary agreements. Visit http://www.evervail.com for more information. About Vail Resorts Vail Resorts, Inc. is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Heavenly in California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is http://www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is http://www.snow.com.
SOURCE Vail Resorts, Inc.