Vail Resorts Echo sustainability program launched at Northstar-at-Tahoe resort | SierraSun.com

Vail Resorts Echo sustainability program launched at Northstar-at-Tahoe resort

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Vail Resorts is launching Vail Resorts Echo, the Companyand#8217;s corporate sustainability program at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort by announcing two partner grants of $10,000 each, a new $20,000 scholarship program and the first Vail Resorts Echo Day in Truckee to engage employees in community volunteer projects.

Two organizations that exemplify the VR Echo mission by protecting the local environment and building strong classrooms for local youths and#8212; The Truckee Watershed Council and Excellence in Education and#8212; will each receive a $10,000 grant.

Aimed at both protecting the beautiful natural resources that surrounds the resorts and helping build stronger communities where the Companyand#8217;s employees live and work, Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community volunteer engagement.

and#8220;Vail Resorts Echo gives Northstar-at-Tahoe a vehicle to share all that we do through our environmental programs, and a thoughtful way for the resort and our employees to make a tangible difference in the local community and#8212; from building nonprofit partnerships to creating programs that enable our employees to volunteer,and#8221; said Bill Rock, VP and chief operating officer of Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. and#8220;Itand#8217;s how what we do resonates and is amplified with our five stakeholders: our employees, shareholders, guests, communities and the environment.and#8221;

Building partnerships

for a stronger community

Last year, Vail Resorts contributed $6 million in cash and in-kind support to more than 150 local nonprofits across their resort communities. Through Vail Resorts Echo, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort will be able to build partnerships with local nonprofits, incorporate company leadership in local giving and provide a clear process for contributions.

and#8220;Vail Resorts Echo will help us make thoughtful and meaningful contributions in the community that will make a big impact on important programs for North Lake Tahoe kids, and places like the Truckee River Watershed,and#8221; said Rock.

What is the contributions process?

Resort leadership, who are now part of the resortand#8217;s and#8220;Giving Counciland#8221; will decide on cash grants and in-kind donations once a year. Grant applications for all requests, from silent auction donations to program support, will go out to the Truckee and Kingand#8217;s Beach communities in mid-July. The application will also be available at http://www.VailResortsEcho.com. The Giving Council will announce grants and in-kind donations in late September. Nonprofits interested in learning more about the process should contact Nicky DeFord at ndeford@vailresorts.com or 720-524-5020.

Northstar Echo Scholarship Program

In addition to the grant program, Vail Resorts Echo will include a scholarship program for employees and their dependents who are graduating from high school and pursuing higher education. Starting next spring, VR Echo will work with local schools on the application process. This year, the program will have $20,000 to provide in scholarships. The Giving Council will determine criteria for scholarships this fall.

Connecting employees to the community

Vail Resorts employees are committed to making a tangible difference in their communities and Vail Resorts Echo will better enable every employee to volunteer their time. VR Echo at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort will include community engagement programs from volunteer days to connection events that encourage employees to give back through local non-profits,, highlighted by Northstar-at-Tahoe Resortand#8217;s first Vail Resorts Echo Day.

Vail Resorts Echo Day, Oct. 1, 2011

This company-wide volunteer day features 10 events from Lake Tahoe to the Caribbean designed to get employees and their families working together on a local community project from trail building to school clean ups. Last year, 400 people joined us in the first VR Echo Day. Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is looking for a project for approximately 80 volunteers. Contact Nicky DeFord at ndeford@vailresorts.com.

Protecting and preserving the local environment

Vail Resorts operates iconic resorts in some of the worldand#8217;s greatest natural environments and in return is compelled to care for and preserve the surrounding setting. The Company has made a commitment to resource conservation and forest health through programs that include energy reduction and a paperless initiative.

Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort has a robust environmental program that aligns with Vail Resorts Echo, including existing efforts to recycle and conserve natural resources, the development of its habitat management plan to balance resort land uses with natural resources in a variety of critical habitats, and preservation of open space in the Martis Valley. Through Vail Resorts Echo, Northstar Resort is committed to continuing these efforts and adding programs that focus on local environmental needs.

VailResortsecho.com

Through its extensive environmental programs and partnerships with local non-profits, VR Echo focuses on forest and habitat restoration, resource conservation as well as initiatives that support healthy kids and communities where the Company operates resorts. To learn more about the Companyand#8217;s environmental stewardship programs, how to apply for a VR Echo grant or ways to volunteer, visit http://www.vailresortsecho.com.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com