N.H. Travel Council Presents Sustainable Business Award to Cranmore Mountain Resort

By AlpineZone News |
May 25 2005 - 03:08 PM

NORTH CONWAY, New Hampshire ??” At an awards luncheon during the 29th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, May 10, The New Hampshire Travel Council, in partnership with the NH Department of Environmental Services, presented Cranmore Mountain Resort with its prestigious Sustainable Business Award.

The Sustainable Business Award is presented to a business that is involved with the travel industry that practices environmental reduction of waste, energy and water. Travel Council Vice Chairman Kevin Martin and Executive Director Nancy Kilbride presented the award to Cranmore’s General Manager Ben Wilcox and Mountain Operations Director Jim Mersereau.

“Receiving this award is an honor,” said Wilcox. “It is a testament to the successes of Cranmore’s dedication to conscientious environmental practices.”

Cranmore Mountain Resort is the only ski resort in the East to use biodiesel fuel to power its fleet of snow grooming machines. Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable diesel fuel replacement derived from natural oils such as soybean or canola oil. It can even be manufactured from recycled restaurant grease. It is a nontoxic, biodegradable, cleaner-burning fuel that works in any diesel engine – trucks, construction equipment, buses, and cars – with few or no modifications. The environmental benefits of using biodiesel include reduced particulate emissions, toxic air contaminants, and greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” says Cranmore’s Jim Mersereau. “This was our second winter using B20, a biodiesel mixture. Our groomers run with the same efficiency as before. Now they just run cleaner – producing less smoke and fumes.”

Although the price of biodiesel is higher than petroleum-based diesel fuel, a bill containing the first biodiesel tax incentive was recently signed by President Bush, and the new law is expected to have a positive effect on the price for consumers. H.R. 4520, also known as the American JOBS Creation Act of 2004 is expected to contribute to the domestic economy through farming and the production of alternative fuels, while decreasing the country’s dependency on foreign oil.

Biodiesel is the first and only alternative fuel to have a complete evaluation of emission results and potential health effects submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act Section 211(b). Some of the proven benefits of using B20, a biodiesel mixture that is calibrated for winter usage, include a 20 percent decrease in unburned hydrocarbons and sulfates and a 12 percent reduction in Carbon Monoxide and particulate matter. Biodiesel emissions show decreased levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nPAH), which have been identified as potential cancer causing compounds. In health effects testing, use of B20 showed a 50 percent decrease in nPAH.

Two years ago Cranmore Mountain Resort launched a pilot project to use biodiesel fuel in their four Bombardier grooming vehicles used for daily grooming of the ski slopes. This pilot project was funded through a grant from the N.H. Department of Environmental Services and the Granite State Clean Cities Program. Because it was so successful, an extension of the grant helped fund the project last season as well. Cranmore has committed to fully fund the project on its own in the future.

“This pilot project at Cranmore Mountain Resort was critical in demonstrating the cold-weather viability of biodiesel in heavy-duty vehicle applications for other New England fleets,” says Cranmore General Manager Ben Wilcox. “It was the first of its kind at ski areas in the eastern U.S. and Cranmore is proud to be a leader in helping to preserve our natural resources.”

In addition to being a leader in its use of alternative fuel, Cranmore Mountain Resort and its staff are vigilant about reducing, reusing and recycling.

Used engine oil is recycled and reused in a special waste-oil furnace, providing heat to Cranmore’s maintenance garage. The excess heat from the snowmaking pumps and compressors is redirected to offices and workspaces within the maintenance garage.

Cranmore’s recent addition of 50 energy-efficient HKD Tower Snowguns provides maximum efficiency, ease of operation, and low maintenance, while cutting costs and increasing snowmaking capacity. Most conventional air/water snowguns operate at air-to-water ratios between 6:1 and 10:1. The HKD Tower system, operate at an air-to-water ratio as low as 0.7:1 and can increase a mountain’s snowmaking capacity six to ten times without an additional investment in compressed air. Cranmore also uses 15 SMI Wizard portable airless snow fans that require very little energy to make snow.

Cranmore reuses and recycles office paper and clearly-labeled bins are set up throughout the resort for guests to separate glass, plastic and other solid waste for disposal at the North Conway transfer station.

For more information, call 1-800-SUN N SKI (786-6754) or visit www.cranmore.com.