Heavenly to serve organic meat, milk | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heavenly to serve organic meat, milk

Edward Stoner and Jeff Munson

The tasty burger you get at Heavenly Mountain Resort may not look any different this season, but its ingredients will be more friendly to Mother Nature.

Vail Resorts, the parent company of Heavenly, will use natural, hormone-free meats and organic dairy products at its on-mountain restaurants this year, the company said Wednesday.

That will mean the company will serve more meals with “natural” meats and organic dairy than any other restaurateur in North America, Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz said.

“It’s something that we really see as groundbreaking, both in the food industry and the travel industry,” Katz said.

The use of the natural foods will start this ski season at all of Heavenly’s restaurants and food stops, including the California Lodge, Boulder Lodge, and Stagecoach Lodge, as well as on-mountain eateries including Snow Beach, Lake View Lodge, Sky Deck, Adventure Peak and East Peak Lodge.

Heavenly officials welcome the change.

“It is especially exciting for us being in the California marketplace and the sensibilities and attitudes of the Tahoe and Bay Area market. I think it is in line with their environmental attitudes, their healthy lifestyles and their social consciousness. I think this initiative really is important in all three areas,” said Blaise Carrig, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Heavenly Mountain Resort. “We are really excited about putting this into action here and combining this healthy food initiative with what we hope is a higher level of food quality at the resort.”

At a news conference in a downtown Denver hotel, Katz explained that Vail Resorts would form something called the “Good Food Partnership” with food providers Coleman Natural Foods and WhiteWave Foods Company, the maker of Horizon Organic dairy products and Silk soy milk.

Katz said he hopes the use of natural foods will make connections with environmentally sensitive skiers.

“The environment really is our business,” he said.

The move is another initiative in a line of announcements that seek to heighten Vail Resorts’ profile as a green company.

Last year, Vail Resorts announced that it would buy enough wind credits to offset all of its electricity use. It then formed a partnership with the National Forest Foundation in which season-pass holders and hotel-stayers could donate money to the local forests.

The company is also planning a $1 billion development in West Lionshead called Ever Vail that will use green-building techniques.

“How should we take this to another level?” Katz said the company asked itself. “Food,” he said, was the answer.

“Natural” meats are free from antibiotics, added hormones, artificial ingredients and preservatives. Coleman Natural ranches use “humane” and “sustainable” raising practices.

Organic milk does not use antibiotics, added growth hormones or pesticides.

Vail Resorts serves 2.5 million lunches at its five resorts each winter, Katz said.

The Broomfield, Colo.-based company owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly.

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