Stewards of Our Water Resource

Snow is precious, not only for skiing and snowboarding, but because it is nature’s way to store water for the spring and summer. We have a special role in protecting our water source because many of our resorts lie at the head of watersheds that support cities, agricultural areas and recreation. Our water management plans consider all of this, and our actions insure that only the cleanest, highest quality water leaves our mountains.


More than 80% of water used in snowmaking returns to the watershed yearly. We take care every year to manage spring runoff to protect our local streams and rivers from any irregularities. 


Facility Usage

Water use at facilities is carefully monitored. One way we reduce water usage in our facilities is through water-less urinals and low-flow sink fixtures. For example, Vail Mountain has installed 10 water-less urinals and uses low-flow fixtures in all of its bathrooms. The urinals save up to 200,000 gallons from being flushed down the drain each year and the sink fixtures have led to a 27% reduction in annual water usage since installation in 2008.

Additionally, Rock Resorts, the lodging division of Vail Resorts, is committed to eliminating nearly all disposable plastic water bottles in guest rooms. Hotel guests are instead offered reusable glass water bottles filled with filtered water. This effort saves an estimated 540,000 plastic water bottles from the waste stream annually. 

Watershed Restoration

In 2009, Vail Resorts joined the National Forest Foundation and the United States Forest Service on the multi-year Hayman Restoration Project to help restore areas destroyed by the fire. As the private funding catalyst for the restoration project, Vail Resorts pledged $750,000 and 1,500 employee volunteer hours. From 2009 to 2012, the Company gave almost 2,000 volunteer hours.

"The Hayman Restoration Project is an example of the power of channeling resources and working together on a critical conservation project," said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. "Through private-public partnerships, we can make our forests more resilient, protect water resources and improve forest health."

Our employees worked hard over four years to help decrease sediment deposits; enhance and relocate trails; remove noxious weeds; and restore native plant and wildlife habitats.