221 South Oak first on board to Adopt-A-Cabin as part of the Green Gondola Project

Mountain Village’ s Green Gondola Project snagged its first Adopt-A-Cabin sponsor when 221 South Oak restaurant purchased an advertisement for gondola cabin six.

The Green Gondola Project was started in 2009 by Ben Williams and The New Community Coalition. The goal: offsetting the gondola’s electricity with solar panels on town facilities. The Town of Mountain Village took over the program in January to help alleviate operational costs so 100% of donations could go toward the renewable energy projects instead of program overhead.

The recent 221 South Oak cabin sponsorship moves the town one step closer to its first goal of installing a large solar array atop the gondola station in Mountain Village, which will help offset the gondola’s electricity usage with local renewable energy. The restaurant’s advertisement will be on display in gondola cabin six through the end of the 2013 ski season.  221 owner and chef, Eliza Gavin, said that advertising her business through the Green Gondola Project was a no-brainer. The gondola serves over 2.5 million people annually and there are 48 cabins on the Telluride to Mountain Village line. This translates to nearly 50,000 people seeing each ad during the year, something Gavin says you can’t count on with other media.

“It seems silly to me not to advertise on the gondola,” Gavin explained. “There is a captive audience on the gondola for a 13 minute ride you have to look at the advertisement. That is something you can’t guarantee with a newspaper or a magazine.”

The Green Gondola Project will help generate enough local renewable energy to match 100% of the gondola’s electricity use, of which about 75% is currently coming from burning coal which contributes to the effects of climate change and poses a threat to the ski industry.

“It’s obvious that the gondola uses a lot of power,” added Gavin. “And we need to do all we can do to make it greener, to reduce our greenhouse gases, and help keep (the community) beautiful.”

Gavin says that she is also driven to donate to the program because the gondola is part of her family’s lifestyle:

“Almost every day my son Gigger and I ride the gondola to preschool in Mountain Village, and we always try to ride in ‘our’ cabin.” said Gavin. “I intend to donate again and again.”

To date, almost $20,000 has been collected for the Green Gondola’s first solar project.  The solar array on the Mountain Village gondola terminal is estimated to cost approximately $50,000, so the town is almost halfway to reaching the first program goal.

Contributions to the Green Gondola Project can be made by using the donation boxes located on the outside of the gondola terminals in Mountain Village and Telluride, mailing a check to the town at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., Suite A, Mountain Village, CO, 81435, or through the Adopt-A-Cabin sponsorship program.

Gondola cabin sponsorships are sold by season, either $1,050 for the summer or winter season or $1,550 for both seasons. Cabin numbers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please visit the town’s Web site at www.townofmountainvillage/greengondola, or contact Deanna Drew, director of environmental services at ddrew@mtnvillage.org.

Mountain Village, situated in the heart of the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, was incorporated in 1995 as a home rule municipality.  Its founders envisioned a European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian-friendly destination resort that would complement the historic mining town of Telluride. A three-stage gondola transportation system connects the Town of Mountain Village with the Town of Telluride. Situated at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other resorts: it is innately spectacular, beautifully orchestrated and planned, and overflowing with style, charm and sophistication. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.townofmountainvillage.com.

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