Like many U.S. ski resorts, Steamboat sits on National Forest Land, and with that comes major responsibility to minimize impacts on the natural environment. Since the early days of skiing on Mount Werner, coexisting with wildlife, use of fossil fuel and water, and land management have been topics of conversation in Resort operations and planning. However, the seasonality and extreme weather, rising global temperatures and increased thawing periods in recent years continue to remind us that the ski industry is directly tied to our environment. With Steamboat nearing the end of the multi-year, multi-million dollar Full Steam Ahead redevelopment project, the responsibility to adapt and respond to changing environmental factors has put the culture of sustainability is in the forefront of the resorts guiding principles.

In addition to adding a Director of Corporate Responsibility in 2019, Steamboat has added environmental expert and snowboard enthusiast, Rick Davey to the team as the Environmental Coordinator. Rick joins the Steamboat sustainability team with nearly a decade of experience in environmental consulting, including environmental drilling and environmental project management. With a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Colorado School of the Mines, Rick offers his expertise as an environmental expert as the resort moves Full Steam Ahead with resort renovations and daily operations. Rick oversees the current sustainability efforts across operations to ensure the resort is minimizing environmental impact. While storm water management is a primary focus of his current duties, there will also be efforts towards conscious fuel use, sustainable logging, and compliance with United States Forest Service.

In addition to minimizing Steamboat Resort’s environmental impacts, the Environmental Coordinator will help grow the Steamboat Green Team, a companywide team dedicated to building a culture of sustainability at the resort. “So much of what we do is integrated into the natural environment, and in order to be the most welcoming resort on the planet, we also have to be the most sustainable,” said Davey. The goal of the Green Team is to integrate sustainability into each department, and to educate all employees on resort initiatives to ingrain sustainability into the company culture as a whole. There is an inherent connectedness between the natural environment and outdoor enthusiasts, and Steamboat Resort is doing their part to progress towards greater sustainability in the outdoor tourism industry.