Sustainability in Massanutten

Massanutten’s Sustainability Committee has been hard at work since summer of 2021 to make lasting changes that will help reduce the resort’s carbon emissions. In 2021, they joined the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) Climate Challenge, which committed them to take strides in advocacy/outreach and emission reduction strategies.  Over the course of the year, they’ve initiated the process to install solar arrays around the resort, upgrade lighting and snow guns in the ski area, in addition to other happenings around the resort like electric vehicle charging stations, the Massanutten Resort Shuttle service, and more. 

Massanutten is currently in the midst of one of the most exciting times for the resort – a long awaited terrain and lift expansion, their first in 30 years. This winter will see the opening of three new trails off the Peak Quad and change the way Massanutten skis for years to come.

For the first time ever, less-advanced skiers are able to ski down from Massanutten’s summit. Mueller’s Mile, a “Blue Square” or More Difficult trail will provide awesome views with twists and turns for intermediate skiers and rider’s delight.  Ridgecrest, another “Blue Square” trail will connect Paradice to Mass Transit improving connectivity between the Ridge Triple chair and Peak Quad trails and provide another route down from Peak Quad for intermediate skiers and riders.  

Slot, a “Black Diamond” or Most Difficult trail will offer an alternative route for advanced skiers and riders off of the Diamond Jim trail and connect with Mueller’s Mile. All three new trails will be lit with LED lighting for night skiing and riding.

Being mindful of the energy it takes to produce snow in this region, all the new slopes will have higher efficiency snowmaking technology. 84 automated and semi-automated HKD, TechnoAlpin, and SMI snowmakers have been added, to cover the new and existing terrain. Mueller’s Mile and Ridgecrest will primarily rely on low energy HKD snowmakers. Upper and Lower Showtime will also see snowmaking love with the addition of TechnoAlpin fan snowmakers top to bottom to help open and resurface terrain faster than ever before. Easy Street, Paul’s Way, and Meadow will also have the new SMI Snowmakers.  The grooming team is not left out of the excitement, they also added a new Piston Bulley groomer to the fleet for the coming season. The new terrain and snowmaking improvements will be transformational to the skiing and riding experience at Massanutten. 

Next summer will see the installation of a new detachable high-speed lift to replace the Peak Quad and the addition of another new Double Black Diamond, experts only trail, and a revitalized Bike Park.

Snowmaking and trail expansions aren’t the only new happenings around the resort. This year, Massanutten announced the addition of solar power arrays to its sustainability efforts. The arrays are believed to be the first serving a major ski and summer resort in Virginia. 

The first of three solar installations became energized in late August on Massanutten’s Woodstone building roof. The solar array is designed to produce up to 185,000 KwHs of power annually, offsetting approximately 15 percent of the building’s annual electrical demand. The building serves as the Resort’s primary guest services facility, offering check-ins, indoor and outdoor swimming, a restaurant, a fitness club and other services. The next solar array in the works is located on the Laundry Facility. The solar array on the resort’s Laundry Facility will be 160kW and produce 192,000kWhs of electricity, enough to offset 45% of the facility’s usage. 

While solar arrays and the ski expansion are the two largest projects in the works, Massanutten is also working on a few different projects across the resort to continue making efforts to reduce the impact to the environment. 

Currently Around the Resort

  • Electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Water fountains for reusable bottles to eliminate single-use plastic water bottle use!
  • Waste oil heating furnace used to heat the snowmaking maintenance building in winter by recycling used motor oil.
  • Massanutten Resort Shuttle service to reduce individual car emissions. Learn more about the shuttle service here.
  • Recycling bins located around the Resort. Fun Fact: Massanutten diverts more than 150,000 pounds of recyclable material from the landfill annually!

For half a century, Massanutten has been part of the Shenandoah Valley community calling the mountain their home. Like any home, it’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of guests, resources, , and the environment. Massanutten Resort’s mission is “to provide remarkable experiences in a safe and enjoyable environment.” As they make efforts to move towards positive environmental impacts, they invite guests to look around as they visit to see if they can spot the many impacts, both small and large, that have been made. Not only will they be seeing new features to their 21st century premier resort, but they too will also be part of helping Massanutten go green as they begin to reduce their carbon footprint! To learn more and stay up to date about the sustainability projects happening around the resort, visit Massanutten Resort – Going Green

Share this post:

Discover more in the Blue Ridge: