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Profiting from Sustainability: Economics, Efficiency and Investor Perspectives 

Featuring: Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group, CO; Dave Belin, RRC Associates, CO

Rich with profit-driving ideas and case studies, presenters will focus on how sustainability – from the perspectives of energy and water management, waste, fleet vehicles, procurement and other topics – can help drive bottom-line savings as well as top-line growth, while also impacting balance sheets and economic indicators industry-wide. Speakers will also share investor perspectives on sustainability in the ski industry, such as integrating sustainability into overall financial performance modeling.

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The Business Case for Climate Change Action and Advocacy

Featuring: Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group, CO, Moderator; Matthew Banks, Senior Program Manager – Energy & Climate, World Wildlife Fun- U.S., D.C.

The NSAA Climate Change Policy has long helped guide its efforts to address climate change, calling for efforts on multiple fronts including advocacy, education, science-based solutions and partnerships. Starting from the perspective of industry-level advocacy, national experts will discuss energy and climate change legislation, the business case for climate mitigation and managing risk in the face of an already changing climate. Next, participants in NSAA’s Climate Challenge – which now includes 20 resorts – from both east and west will report out on their progress, benefits realized and lessons learned from addressing their own climate change impacts.

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Staying on Message: Sustainability in Branding and Communications 

Come hear lively discussion about customer opinions on environmental sustainability and their continued recognition of high-performing resorts. Speakers will share their perspectives of the latest research on consumer preferences and sustainability - including expectations from millenials - as well as sustainability in branding and communications, social media and how to keep communications authentic in the face of external scrutiny. Next, NSAA supplier members will share how they’re putting branding and sustainability into play to resonate with savvy consumers.

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Environmental & Regulatory Compliance: Reducing the Impact on Nature and Your Resort’s Bottom Line

Featuring: Zeke Williams, Managing Director, Lewis Bess Williams & Wess, CO; Dave Byrd, Director of Risk & Regulatory Affairs, NSAA; Ben Kass, Associate Attorney, Lewis, Bess Williams & Weese, CO

Facilities and mountain operators need to be well-schooled about the heightened – and costly – environmental enforcement efforts increasingly pushed by both state and federal regulators. From waste and pollution management, storm water regulations, fuel storage tanks, and air and soil contamination, the complexity of environmental regulation and the impact on our environment warrants serious attention. Zeke Williams, a ski industry attorney and expert in environmental and water regulation and litigation, will analyze recent environmental compliance issues involving ski areas, and recommend strategies for resorts to promote environmental compliance and minimize expense.

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Optimizing Mountain Operations: Energy Cost Reductions by Analyzing Snowmaking Metrics

Featuring: Jeff Cullinane, Finance & Business Development, Intrawest Resorts, CO; Mike Leonard, Efficiency Vermont Investment Corp., VT

Snowmaking, by far, is one of the biggest energy hogs. Jeff Cullinane, a finance and efficiency expert at Intrawest Resorts, has implemented hugely successful snowmaking energy monitoring programs at Stratton and Snowshoe, resulting in reduced energy costs of more than ten percent, with savings of up to a hundred thousand dollars in just one season. By vigilantly tracking key metrics and smartly forecasting demand and consumption, Intrawest will discuss how it has achieved sizeable energy reductions in snowmaking. Jeff will tag team with experts from Efficiency Vermont, who advocate a similar Snow Energy Index system which laser-focuses on continuous energy improvements in snowmaking through tracking water, air, and kilowatt usage, and real-time adjustments designed to achieve significant energy reductions. Efficiency Vermont will also unveil results from an analyses on a spectrum of snow guns, and highlight behavioral changes that can be implemented on-the-fly to lower energy costs.

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Building For a Better Future: Continuous Energy Improvements for Ski Area Buildings

Featuring: Jeff Cullinane, Consultant, Vermont Energy Investment Corp., VT; George Lawrence, Vermont Energy Investment Corp., VT

Believe it or not, buildings and structures in the United States constitute the largest source of emissions in the atmosphere from a climate change perspective. We have invited two experts from Vermont Energy investment Corporation (VEIC), a non-profit consulting firm that administers energy efficiency and sustainable energy utilities in Vermont, Ohio, and Washington DC. This session will hone in on ways resorts can better manage energy use to continuously improve energy performance in ski resort buildings – base lodges, condos, resort restaurants and all aspects of mountain operations. There will be an emphasis on applying the proper management framework to enable your resort’ staff to set goals, identify opportunities and make changes to save energy.

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