Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mountain Rider’s Alliance and Brendle Group Announce Partnership to Advance Sustainable Ski Industry Model

Jackson, WYOctober 24, 2012. Mountain Rider’s Alliance (MRA) has formed a partnership with Brendle Group, a Colorado-based engineering firm focused on sustainability that has worked for over a decade with the ski industry on climate change, energy, and other sustainability issues. MRA, a grassroots organization, is committed to transforming ski mountains into sustainable, eco-friendly playgrounds that benefit local economies and promote accessible outdoor recreation. Together, the two organizations will have a major influence in forging a new model for sustainability in the ski industry, focused on alternative business models for small and medium-sized resorts.

On the heels of MRA’s announcement of their partnership to convert Maine’s Mt. Abrama recipient of a 2012 Golden Eagle Award from the National Ski Areas Association for its environmental stewardshipinto its first sustainable Mountain Playground, Brendle Group and MRA will work together to develop and test a model for sustainability at Mt. Abram that can be replicated elsewhere. This will include comprehensive assessments of energy use, land use, procurement, and community sustainability to identify options for net zero carbon, energy, and water operations as well as integrating sustainability and local economic development.  

Brendle Group will complete several other projects in support of MRA’s mission, including analyzing how sustainable practices can make small and medium-sized ski areas more economically viable. Furthermore, the firm will develop a screening tool for MRA’s future mountain conversion projects that includes environmental, financial, and community/social sustainability factors of the ski area and its local economy. MRA and Brendle Group will be working closely to coordinate their expertise and materialize their vision.

Jamie Schectman, CEO of MRA, has expressed his confidence in the collaboration: "We are extremely excited to be partnering with such an outstanding organization that has been a longstanding leader in ski industry sustainability. We look forward to implementing Brendle Group's roadmap to sustainability at our first partner ski area, Mt. Abram. Our partnership will help MRA achieve its goal of creating sustainable Mountain Playgrounds around the world."

“By partnering with MRA, we have the exciting opportunity to help advance MRA’s Mountain Playground vision while bringing our newest services in net zero water, ecosystems services, and sustainable economic development to the ski industry.  We believe Mountain Playgrounds will create a valuable new offering to the mix of skier experiences today.”  says Judy Dorsey, President of Brendle Group.

About Mountain Rider’s Alliance:

Mountain Rider’s Alliance ( is a group of like-minded people dedicated to making a positive change in the ski area industry. The mission of MRA is to develop values-based, environmentally friendly, rider-centric Mountain Playgrounds that encourage alternative energy creation while reducing their carbon footprint. It is MRA’s priority to develop sustainable Mountain Playgrounds that offer an authentic riding experience, help the environment thrive, and promote prosperity in our local ski towns.

In addition to Mt. Abram, MRA has entered into the permitting process to restore Manitoba Mountain, a ski area that last operated in 1960 on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Manitoba Mountain would offer terrain for all ability levels via three surface lifts and access to 10,000 acres of world-class terrain (

About Brendle Group:
Brendle Group is an engineering consulting firm providing energy, climate, water, sustainability management, economic development, and sustainable design solutions for clients nationwide. Now in its 16th year of business, Brendle Group has completed over 200 projects for over 100 clients across the sectors of local government, energy and water utilities, K-12 and higher education, the ski and tourism industries and leading-edge companies. For more information, visit    

All media inquiries, please contact Jamie Schectman of Mountain Rider’s Alliance at
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