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How Crystal Mountain is pioneering sustainability in the resort industry

It’s the time of year when Michigan skiers expect deep powder, fast chairlifts and a toasty-warm lodge at the end of a long day on the slopes. Accommodating them takes massive amounts of energy—electricity to power the chairlifts and snowmaking equipment, natural gas or propane to heat buildings, and gasoline to run grooming equipment.  
Those costs are both a burden and a challenge at the Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, where staffers have earned national recognition for finding creative solutions to drive down energy use and waste at the expansive resort. 
From super-efficient water pumps and snow guns to pioneering work in composting golf course grass clippings, groundwater heat pumps, and the region’s only LEED-certified spa, Crystal Mountain is setting a high standard for sustainability in the resort industry.
For owner Jim MacInnes, earth-friendly practices often make good business sense for Crystal Mountain, Benzie County’s largest employer with 450 workers (600 in the wintertime). Smart choices can save money and provide a buffer against fluctuating oil, coal and gas prices. But it’s also a moral imperative for MacInnes, who is perhaps the industry’s most outspoken Michigan proponent of clean energy policies and sustainable practices. 
 Read more about Crystal Mountain’s pioneering efforts in resort sustainability and MacInnes’ commitment in the Michigan Environmental Report’s first online newsletter of 2012 coming soon! 

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