As a private, nonprofit 501(c)4 corporation for the past 57 years, Bridger Bowl has operated on a very different model than most real estate development-based ski resort operations today. With no owners or stockholders to pay, the focus has stayed simply on our mission: to provide a quality ski (and snowboard) experience at the best possible price commensurate with sound business practices.
“A renegade among major ski areas, Bridger Bowl operates as a nonprofit community amenity, eschewing the resort sprawl that drives other big hill operations. The facility has grown apace with Bozeman, from one rope tow and a quonset hut in 1955 to today's (seven) chair lifts and three day-lodges.”
- National Geographic’s Greater Yellowstone Geotourism Map Guide
Sustainability Mission Statement
Bridger Bowl is committed to operating our ski area in the most socially responsible manner possible. Energy and product purchases, waste stream management and care for the land will be conducted in an accountable manner consistent with prudent and environmentally sustainable practices.
NSAA Keep Winter Cool Campaign
In 2004, Bridger Bowl along with 70 other members of the National Ski Areas Association wrote letters of support to our congressional representatives urging them to pass the McCain-Lieberman sponsored Climate Stewardship Act. Through the Sustainable Slopes Initiative, NSAA has outlined specific industry goals addressing global warming concerns and sustainability issues. This season Bridger Bowl will be actively encouraging public support and participation through NSAA's 'Keep Winter Cool' program.
Carpooling and Free Bus Service
As a local community ski area, we are fortunate to be only 20 minutes from Bozeman. Most local residents only have to drive 16 to 20 miles each way to and from Bridger. Consequently, the collective carbon footprint is significantly less compared to those traveling 3 to 5 times that distance to ski or recreate. Despite our close proximity to Bozeman, we still strongly encourage local residents to carpool whenever possible.
- We have a designated carpool lot for vehicles with 3 or more passengers in our top Lot A. We have also coordinated a carpool parking lot at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds (Oak Street Entrance across from the Cannery District) in Bozeman. This is a convenient park and ride location for almost everyone coming to Bridger Bowl.
- Since 2007, Bridger Bowl has provided FREE Park and Ride Bus Service between Bozeman and Bridger Bowl. The Free bus service is offered on weekends (plus school holidays for the Kid's bus).
- A special bus is provided free of charge for Bridger employees seven days a week during the ski season.
- In 2009 Bridger Bowl converted two popular discount skiing days (Bridger Bowl Birthday and Bobcat Ski Day) into carpooling awareness campaigns. In order for participants to qualify for the discounted tickets, participants must arrive "3 on a wheel to get the deal". Only participants who carpooled qualified for the discounted tickets, and season pass holders were given 15% off vouchers if they carpooled on those days as well.
Bridger Bowl's Recycling and Conservation Efforts
- Bridger Bowl has been committed to recycling for many years. We recycle 100% of our cardboard and glass generated on the mountain (with our own bailer and crusher), all of our lubricant oils, lift grease, fryer fats, large steel, aluminum, wire, administrative paper and magazines are recycled.
- Bridger Bowl has purchased green tags for energy generated through zero emission heat exhaust captured from natural gas pump turbines in Basin Electric Cooperative's North Dakota pipeline.
- Through our guest services we have a recycling collection system in our food service areas for glass, plastic and aluminum products. Our food services department will also be using bamboo/ sugarcane based plate products in the cafeterias.
- We reconditioned a 1976 Doppelmayr double chair purchased from Snowbird Ski Resort and put it back into service. This 'recycled' and refurbished (named Schlasman ... original spelling) chair provides lift served access for our expert skiers/riders into our Slushman's terrain.
Bridger Staff Training
Bridger Bowl has a Sustainability Committee which completed the Yellowstone Business Partnership's Uncommon Sense program in 2009. This is a very action and results oriented program, primarily designed to help businesses recognize, measure and reduce their waste stream as well as make better decisions in purchasing, consumption and management practices related to sustainability. This committee in turn works with departmental supervisors and other Bridger staff to make positive changes throughout the organization. As stated in our Employee Handbook, "It is the responsibility of all employees to conduct themselves in a manner compliant with these practices. Our sustainability committee encourages ideas and suggestions from all Bridger Bowl employees to improve our efforts." We encourage all local business owners and managers to check out yellowstonebusiness.org and adopt a sustainability mission statement in their business plans.
Since the inception of Bridger Raptor Festival 20 years ago, Bridger Bowl has recognized the value of celebrating this major migratory route of the Golden Eagle and 16 other species of raptors each fall along the ridge of the Bridger Mountains. Along with the significant effort and partnerships with organizations such as Montana Outdoor Science School, Sacajawea Audubon, Montana Audubon, Hawk Watch International, Gallatin National Forest, Montana Raptor Conservation Center and many others, we hope to raise awareness of this significant natural event and related environmental topics by connecting the general public to research regarding wildlife and promoting access and interpretation to the findings of the research. The Raptor Festival is a fun and educational family event complete with live bird demonstrations, raptor identification talks, children's activities, conservation group exhibits and raptor migration viewing on Bridger's ridge. By providing these free events to the general public we hope to foster a greater understanding of our environment and appreciation of the local wildlife we enjoy at Bridger Bowl.
Recognition and Awards
Bridger Bowl is the only ski area among seven major ski resorts in the greater Yellowstone region in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho that was recognized for its sustainable business practices and service as a nonprofit community ski area in National Geographic's Greater Yellowstone Region Geotourism Mapguide. Bridger Bowl was also presented a plaque by the Gallatin National Forest in 2008 which states the following: "In Recognition of Bridger Bowl's exemplary efforts in their commitment to environmentally sustainable operations and care for National Forest lands."