The Key to Ending Climate Change: Making it Profitable

While taxation would be a key tool in enabling the government to curb the carbon emissions of the US, there will be lots of pushback. History shows that Americans are always resistant to new taxation, so the process of creating successful pollution controls could take some time. For some, time is of the essence and alternatives to taxes are being employed.

For the Ski industry, climate change is the biggest threat to their ongoing profitability. It has been projected that the climate will change so significantly that skiing will no longer be possible in the Colorado Rockies as soon as 2050. This is both alarming to those who enjoy the sport as well as those who rely on the yearly snowfall for their livelihood. In order to try and slow the harmful impacts, the main Colorado ski resorts (Vail Resorts & Aspen) have started huge recycling and bus programs. The recycling is a widely accepted measure to help the environment, but the bussing is more interesting.

In theory, as busses become more available, fewer people will be forced to face the long drives to the mountains and as a result, the carbon emissions will drop significantly. While this is completely true, the Ski Resorts have an ulterior motive. Being eco-friendly and providing transportation is actually more profitable.

One of the main factors which limits how many people can access a Ski Resort at any given time is parking. Parking has become increasingly limited as hotels and housing developments have crowded the bases of the mountains resulting in decreased accessibility to the resorts. The Bus programs are simultaneously eco-friendly and solve this issue presented by the limited parking. More people gain access to the mountains and are able to spend hundreds of dollars on a single day ski pass. Additional people on the mountain create no additional cost to the resorts so all of these new customers help to offset the fixed operating costs. There are additional expenditures related to bussing skiers to the resorts themselves, but the increased revenue created through sales of lift tickets more counteract them.

Ski resorts have successfully learned how to foster goodwill, help slow climate change, and increase revenue. Despite the uncertainty regarding the future of their industry, Ski resorts have embraced this challenge and become stronger as a result.

About Declan Peloso

Declan is a second year Economics and Business student, focusing on finance at the University of Puget Sound

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