New Report Documents China’s ‘Renewable-Energy Revolution’

first_imgNew Report Documents China’s ‘Renewable-Energy Revolution’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Project Syndicate:At the start of 2017, China announced that it would invest $360 billion in renewable energy by 2020 and scrap plans to build 85 coal-fired power plants. In March, Chinese authorities reported that the country was already exceeding official targets for energy efficiency, carbon intensity, and the share of clean energy sources. And just last month, China’s energy regulator, the National Energy Administration, rolled out new measures to reduce the country’s dependence on coal. These are just the latest indicators that China is at the center of a global energy transformation, which is being driven by technological change and the falling cost of renewables. But China is not just investing in renewables and phasing out coal. It also accounts for a growing share of global energy demand, meaning that its economy’s continuing shift toward service- and consumption-led growth will reshape the resource sector worldwide. At the same time, various other factors are reducing global resource consumption, including increased energy efficiency in residential, industrial, and commercial buildings, and lower demand for energy in transportation, owing to the proliferation of autonomous vehicles and ride sharing. According to Beyond the Supercycle: How Technology Is Reshaping Resources, a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), these trends are slowing the growth of primary energy demand. If rapid adoption of new technologies continues, that demand could peak in 2025. And with less intensive energy use and increased efficiency, energy productivity in the global economy could increase by 40-70% over the next two decades. While global growth in energy demand is slowing, China’s share of that demand is increasing. By 2035, China may account for 28% of the world’s primary energy demand, up from 23% today, whereas the United States could account for just 12% by 2035, down from 16% today. China has already made significant progress in reducing its resource intensity: between 1980 and 2010, its economy grew 18-fold, but its energy consumption grew only fivefold. According to World Bank data, that reflects a 70% decline in energy intensity per unit of GDP. In its 13th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government aims to reduce energy intensity by a total of 15% between 2016 and 2020. It is already well on its way toward achieving that goal. At the Chinese Communist Party’s National People’s Congress earlier this year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reported that China’s energy intensity fell by 5% last year alone. Renewables are one reason for China’s declining resource intensity. Hoping to become a world leader in the field, China is already investing more than $100 billion in domestic renewables every year. That is twice the level of US investment in domestic renewable energy and more than the combined annual investment of the US and the European Union. In addition, China is investing $32 billion – more than any other country – in renewables overseas, with top-tier Chinese companies increasingly taking the lead in global renewable-energy value chains. China’s State Grid Corporation has plans to develop an energy grid that draws on wind turbines and solar panels from around the world. Chinese solar-panel manufacturers are estimated to have a 20% cost advantage over their US peers, owing to economies of scale and more advanced supply-chain development. And Chinese wind-turbine manufacturers, having gradually closed technology gaps, now account for more than 90% of the Chinese domestic market, up from just 25% in 2002.Full article: China’s Renewable-Energy Revolutionlast_img read more

More Climate Risk to Oil Majors in 2 New Lawsuits Reminiscent of Tobacco Litigation

first_imgMore Climate Risk to Oil Majors in 2 New Lawsuits Reminiscent of Tobacco Litigation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents.The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels.According to a news release from San Francisco city officials, the lawsuits mirror 1980s-era lawsuits against tobacco companies. They allege the oil giants “knowingly and recklessly created an ongoing public nuisance that is causing harm now and in the future risks catastrophic harm to human life and property.”The lawsuits are the latest in a growing body of legal action against oil companies over climate change. Prosecutors for New York and Massachusetts are investigating Exxon, for example, over the possibility it misled investors in public statements on the risks of climate change.Marin and San Mateo counties and Imperial Beach, California, in July brought similar public nuisance and failure to warn lawsuits alleging climate change impacts. Those three lawsuits sued the same five plus other oil companies and coal producers.The cases are People of the State of California V. BP et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC 17-561370, and People of the State of California V. BP et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17875889.More: California cities sue big oil firms over climate changelast_img read more

Europe plans massive expansion in offshore wind: 60GW by 2030, 300GW by 2050

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:The European Union wants a massive increase in offshore wind to help clean up the electricity industry and aid the recovery after the pandemic.To meet its mid-century goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent, the region needs to boost offshore wind capacity to 300 gigawatts by 2050 from just 12 gigawatts now, according to an EU roadmap published on Thursday. That will require as much as 789 billion euros ($940 billion) in investment, mostly from utilities and energy majors.The strategy proposed by the European Commission details how to unlock the potential for wind farms at sea that’s getting cheaper every year and are more powerful than those on land. But the industry is still struggling with bureaucratic hurdles, while fierce competition for deals makes each project less profitable.“With our vast sea basins and industrial leadership, the European Union has all that it needs to rise up to the challenge,” said Frans Timmermans, the commission’s executive vice-president. “Already, offshore renewable energy is a true European success story. We aim to turn it into an even greater opportunity for clean energy, high quality jobs, sustainable growth, and international competitiveness.”As an interim objective, the EC targets 60 gigawatts of offshore wind and at least 1 gigawatt of tidal and wave energy by 2030. The goal for offshore is realistic, according to Imogen Brown, analyst at BloombergNEF, which forecasts the EU capacity at 57.2 gigawatts by then.The acceleration that the EU is targeting post-2030 is a bigger challenge and the key for meeting the 2050 offshore wind goal of 300 gigawatts will be collaboration between nations on planning, grid development and innovation, Brown said. The commission is also eyeing 40 gigawatts of tidal and wave energy by the middle of the century.[Ewa Krukowska]More: Europe seeks $940 billion boost for giant offshore wind farms Europe plans massive expansion in offshore wind: 60GW by 2030, 300GW by 2050last_img read more

Mix Master: The Multiple Musical Dimensions of Ki: Theory

first_imgHow do you classify the sound of your live show? The live show is pretty electronic. It’s not really a DJ set, but it has those elements. I have a rig that has some samplers and effects, but I also play live keyboards and guitar. There are some loops and backtracks, and I also bring a drummer to add more of a rock vibe. Give it Away: Every Ki: Theory album is available for free online.Call Joel Burleson a sonic chameleon. The Richmond-based musician and producer, who performs under the name Ki: Theory, easily adapts in the vast music world. In the live setting, Ki: Theory delivers glitchy electronic indie rock that’s made crowds move in dance clubs around the world, as well as at Bonnaroo. But Burleson also crafts instrumental grooves behind the scenes. In addition to three albums of original material, he has remixed tracks for Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, and Brazilian Girls. His sounds have been heard on the television show CSI: New York and commercials for Converse and Audi. He’s also a familiar presence in the outdoor industry, recently scoring promo videos for The North Face and landing a track in Warren Miller’s latest ski flick, Wintervention. His recent breakout project is a compilation remix of Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack, alongside electronic predecessors like Moby and Glitch Mob.Mixing production and live performance, do you consider it as two separate sides to your music career? Ki:Theory is a live show and a studio thing. The music industry has changed so much, since I started playing in bands in high school. I had the cliché rock star goal of trying to get signed by a major label, but that’s not the way it works now. There’s a lot less money to be made in the music industry, but more of the money is going directly to the artists. It’s easier to do it yourself, and you can come up with a lot of different outlets to create a career. How do you approach scoring music for outdoor action? It varies greatly by project. With my recent video for The North Face they had an idea of what they wanted based on existing Ki: Theory tracks. They send me action footage, and then I score it with my music. There was a little bit of them editing their video to my music and me editing my music to their video. That’s the beauty of music and the Internet. It’s easy to collaborate between great distances. 1 2last_img read more

Dirty Cloud Computing

first_imgGreenpeace wants companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft to make smarter, cleaner energy choices now that “cloud computing” services have ratcheted up power consumption considerably. Photo cred: Wichary, FlickrDear EarthTalk: Why is Greenpeace upset with some leading tech companies for so-called “dirty cloud computing?” Can you explain?— Jeremy Wilkins, Waco, TXLeading tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft are now offering unprecedented amounts of data storage and access to “apps” on huge Internet-connected servers, saving consumers and businesses the hassle of installing and running programs and storing information on their own local computers.This emerging trend, dubbed “cloud computing,” means that these providers have had to scale up their power consumption considerably, as they are increasingly responsible for providing more and more of the computing horsepower required by the world’s two billion Internet users. No doubt, sharing such resources on centralized servers is more efficient than every individual and business running their own versions separately. In fact, the research firm Verdantix estimates that companies off-loading data and services to cloud servers could save $12 billion off their energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 million metric tons within the next decade. But for the greenhouse gas savings to be realized, the companies offering cloud computing services need to make the right energy choices.Greenpeace has been tracking sustainability among tech companies for over a decade, and recently released a report, “How Green is Your Cloud?” assessing the green footprint of the move to cloud computing. According to the analysis, some of the major players (Google, Facebook and Yahoo) have gone to great lengths to ensure that significant amounts of the power they need come from clean, green sources like wind and solar. But Greenpeace chastises others (Apple, Amazon and Microsoft) for relying on so-called “dirtier” sources of power, such as coal and nuclear, to run their huge data centers.“When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy,” says Gary Cook, a Senior Policy Analyst with Greenpeace. “Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are building data centers powered by coal and acting like their customers won’t know or won’t care. They’re wrong.”Greenpeace’s report evaluates 14 major tech firms and the electricity supply chains in use across more than 80 different data centers that power cloud-based services. Some of the largest data centers are in buildings so big they are visible from space and use as much power as 250,000 European homes. If the cloud were its own country, says Greenpeace, it would rank 5th in the world in electricity consumption.“Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritizing renewable energy access when siting their data centers, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers,” reports Greenpeace. But unfortunately the majority of the industry is not marching in step. As such, Greenpeace is calling on all tech companies with cloud services to develop siting policies based on access to clean energy sources, invest in or directly purchase renewable energy, be transparent about their energy usage, share innovative solutions so the sector as a whole can improve, and demand that governments and utilities increase the percentage of clean, green power available on the grid.CONTACTS: Verdantix, www.verdantix.com; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org. EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

Summer Essentials: Adventure Travel Gear

first_imgWhether you’re heading to another side of the Blue Ridge or beyond the border, this adventure travel gear will come in handy on your next trip.1. Smith LowdownYes, the Risky Business shades are back in style. Smith’s new take is the Lowdown, sunglasses that let you look cool, like a pre-Scientology Tom Cruise, and also offer stalwart performance features including high-quality polarized lenses that are designed to filter glare that persists during coastal hikes or on the water during off-shore paddling trips. Plus the frames are made from a lightweight renewable castor plant that will keep you feeling free when you’re jet-setting between mountain towns.$119; smithoptics.com2. Patagonia Island Hopper ShirtThis shirt was made for destinations unbound. Built with a blend of recycled poly and organic cotton, it offers relieving ventilation when you find yourself trapped under a blanket of humidity. Patagonia’s fabric also features UPF 15 sun protection and intentional light colors to repel rays. Also, since it dries within minutes you can give it a sink wash when you need to freshen up.$85; patagonia.com 3. Freewaters ScampPerfect for expediting airport security and giving feet post-adventure relief, the Freewaters Scamp looks like a standard flop, but you’ll feel the difference of the Therm-a-Rest cushion footbeds. The softness delivers instant comfort, and the ridge design that’s been pleasing campers for years provides air circulation during long sightseeing sessions.$36; freewaters.com 4. Osprey Sojourn 25Adventure luggage is a real thing. The Osprey Sojourn will roll through the airport like a standard travel piece, but when you suddenly find yourself hitchhiking along a dirt road, unzip the suspension system and throw it on your back. The wheeled pack features nearly 3,600 cubic inches of space, so you’ll have plenty of room to organize essentials, especially in the open main compartment. You can also attach an Osprey Daylite when you need additional space or a convenient daypack for side trips.$289; ospreypacks.com5. Eagle Creek All Terrain Money BeltNow an old standby when it comes to stashing some emergency bills, the All Terrain has an incognito zipper pocket sewn into an unsuspecting utility belt.$20; eaglecreek.com6. Icebreaker Escape ShortEscape Shorts are all about versatility, equipped for both wandering city streets or impromptu trail jaunts in faraway places. The shorts are made from a blend of cotton and mostly merino wool, which breathes easy and resists odor so slipping them on for a second day in a row won’t cause offense. Plus, the clean cut means you can shroud your inner dirt bag when asking strangers for directions. Women should check out the similar Icebreaker Via.$119; icebreaker.comlast_img read more

Weekend Picks: Spring Thaw Trail Run and Mountain Bike

first_imgSaturday, March 8th – The Grant at Willowsford, near Leesburg, VirginiaThe REV3 Adventure trail series caters to trail runners and mountain bikers.The series consists of three trail run events and three mountain bike events. Race one event or all six to earn the title of Trail Master. The group will crown a trail runner series champ, a mountain bike series champ, and the series champ of Trail Master.According to the group’s website, the race features dedicated private single-track trails at Willowsford and the classic technical trails at Fountainhead. Post-race food and refreshments are provided, including beer from local breweries. At Fountainhead racers can expect a hot dog and chili feast.If you raced last year in their Willowsford trail series, note that they are doing things a little differently in 2014. Now you’ll have two chances to be Trail Master–the Spring Thaw will count as one series, and the timing starts over with the Fall Foliage races.Come pound out some trails and keep that New Year’s resolution alive. The second annual Spring Thaw Dash will get you up, out, and saying good bye to the winter blues. Willowsford, a new community in Ashburn, Virginia, where the vision is “Inspired Living,” has a purpose-built trail system with a variety of terrain features, offering runners and riders a fun and moderately challenging course. You will take single track through Willowsford’s Conservancy areas, passing through open fields, pine forests, and thick oak groves. Come and experience the best of Virginia’s countryside on two wheels or two feet.Schedule:10:00 am – Trail run race start – 5k and 10k12:30 pm – MTB race start – Weekend Warriors and Trail Experts12:35 pm – MTB race start – Young Warrior & NewbiesClick here for more info.last_img read more

Goshen Pass Race: BRO Athlete Tops the Junior Podium

first_imgI have been paddling for quite some time now, but have only recently found myself totally immersed in the whitewater world. I resisted the sport from a young age until I was about 14. Last year, my dad told me about this place near Lexington, Virginia, called Goshen Pass. There are two different runs on Goshen, both pretty short, the upper and the lower. Goshen is on the Maury River and the upper section hosts class III-IV whitewater. I took one look, said “No thanks.” and proceeded to run laps on the lower section.In March, I heard tales of a race that was going to happen at the Pass, and I was interested in taking pictures. I hiked into the gorge from the side of the road with my camera and tripod and my dad threw our boats on top of the car, just in case we wanted to paddle a little after the race was over (yeah, right). Except that’s exactly what happened.I was peer pressured into running the upper section of Goshen post-race by one of my good friends who said something along the lines of “What can go wrong? You can totally do this, no problem!”. Of course, that meant I swam my first lap, but it also meant I was determined to return for more. Since last March, Goshen has been a key destination for me whenever it has been running, and I was stoked to race it this year.The annual Goshen Pass Race has been going on for the past eight years, beginning in 2007 when a group of local boaters were trash-talking each other about who could paddle the lap the fastest.“It was just a bunch of friends who decided we would get together on a certain day and see who could paddle to Indian Pool the fastest,” said Gordon Dalton, a Pyranha Kayaks team member and organizer of the race this year, “Since then it has grown. We have had between 30-50 racers over the past few years, depending on the level, the weather, and whatever else is going on that day.”I raced for the first time this year, with 30 boaters, including the class of three women. We put in at the swinging bridge, floating down all together to the start point. I heard the countdown from 10 seconds being shouted across the river and then we all took off, paddling down the Pass. All of my nerves vanished as I concentrated on staying on my lines – my goal did not lie in placing highly, but instead I was simply focused on maintaining speed and good lines. The previous day I had been out to Goshen and had completed two practice laps, my second lap had involved lots of banging on rocks through a rapid named Devil’s Kitchen as I flipped three times in the duration of the relatively short, but technical, rock garden. However, during the race I had the smoothest lines through both Devil’s Kitchen and the boof at Corner Rapid I had ever experienced.I finished 21st overall, second in women’s, 1st as a junior woman. Paddling up to the finish line, I was all smiles, happy with my lines and excited for another lap. The rest of the racers and crew cheered as people finished and the sense of community was prominent.“This race is special as a real down-home, grassroots gathering of the Virginia whitewater community,” Dalton said, “There is no racer fee, no snazzy T-shirts, and no ego or drama. Just folks getting together to celebrate Spring and this beautiful place we get to play within.”There are a few sponsors, including Pyranha Kayaks, Appomattox River Company, and Werner Paddles who donate prizes for the racers, and there are homemade trophies for First Place, Second Place, and the Carnage Award. But the coolest part of the race is how low-key the entire thing is. The whole community is really supportive and everyone is cheering on each other, making the day one I was happy to be a part of. I am excited for the rest of this season on Goshen and am already looking forward to next year’s annual race. More information about the race and final times can be found here and the slideshow of photos from Gordon Dalton and Emily Powell are available here.last_img read more

Joy Ride: Can a Competitive Mountain Biker Kill His Instincts and Just Gape?

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Devon O’NeilNo matter how good you get at something, it’s important to remember when you sucked at it. Both for your sake and others’.As a mountain biker, my period of sucking is boiled down to one very vivid memory. It was June 2004. I had just bought my first pair of clip-in pedals, and I went for a ride to test them out. The switchbacking trail behind my home gained 200 vertical feet before you could catch your breath. I was almost at the top when I came up short on a rock, couldn’t complete the pedal stroke and my bike stopped. I tried to unclip with both feet but failed, all the while sloooooowly teetering over like a Jenga tower.Splat!I hit the ground and immediately felt an uncomfortable warm sensation on my right wrist. I looked down and saw the dog poop at precisely the moment its odor filled my mouth and nose, which, as I lay on the ground, hovered about four inches from the still-steaming pile. I gagged. Somehow the vomit stayed down.I picked myself up, used a pine branch to clean my arm, turned my bike around and rode home, humiliated. I glanced around on my way down the hill to gauge whether anyone saw. As far as I could tell, no one did.After briefly considering whether to find something else to do with my time, I stuck with mountain biking and grew to love it. Now I ride five days a week all summer and fall. I write about the sport and its colorful characters for magazines. Some of my favorite adventures involve pedaling a full-suspension rig on a remote trail, hungry, thirsty, beat up from crashing, kind of screwed in the mind, wondering how and where the day will end.And inevitably on days like that, I come across at least one tourist, sometimes more, who looks like he just got off the bus from Amarillo and has a hundred questions but is too proud to ask them. This, in mountain-town-local parlance, is a “gaper.” (Perhaps you have seen the bumper sticker that reminds fellow locals to “Love thy gaper”?)I have never liked that term. It sounds negative to me. Plus, I have been the guy in the foreign place, gaping, literally, at the new and interesting sights, probably while driving like a grandmother. I don’t mind being a gaper, but I don’t think I should be chastised for it either. That’s why I have a problem with the term as it’s used in resort towns, no matter how well the stereotype fits a certain percentage.The problem is that as human beings we’re wired to impose our will wherever we can. It’s instinctive, on some level, to claim superiority, and the outdoors is not immune, which is really too bad. Nature deserves better.I refer to this as the outdoors relativity complex, and it goes beyond just calling tourists gapers. In fact, it exists in strikingly parallel form in towns across the country and throughout the world, bridging languages and cultures, sports and stereotypes.The relativity stems from the way we get so concerned with where we stack up in nature that our competitiveness—trying to outdo the next guy—drains the experience of its actual benefit. I’m 35, so maybe it doesn’t sound so curmudgeonly when I say it baffles me to see a runner or biker going so fast down a trail that not only does he not have time to say hello to someone going up, but neither to yield.The line between instinct and intent gets blurry, but it’s easy to take oneself too seriously. It happens to all of us, myself included. The ego is built into the brain. It gets hungry. So we feed it. But in doing so, we drift from the beauty of coexistence and develop a less compassionate grasp of what being outside is all about.This tendency exists in the rest of life too. For as long as I’ve understood socioeconomic class structure, I have wanted to end up stranded on an island with Donald Trump, armed with more survival know-how than he, and observe him gradually come to terms with how helpless such a rich man can be sans credit card and communication. Wouldn’t you pay to watch that?Overzealous outdoorsmen often fit familiar molds: the über-competitive guy or girl who can’t just go for a casual run or ride, no matter what they say at the trailhead. The climber who chides someone who’s still dialing in his rope work. The skier who heckles beginners from the chairlift.Funny, isn’t it, how we focus on whom we’re better than, instead of who’s better than us? Why else do so many average athletes enter races if not to see how many people they can beat? The psychologists at Strava know this. If you only cared how fast you could do something, stopwatches would still be in vogue and king of the mountain would still be a game kids played on snowbanks in the schoolyard.What those who draw their entire self-worth from their place on a results sheet miss is that there is only one person on earth who’s the best at something, and only one who’s the worst at something. Everyone else falls in between—each of us is faster than some, slower than others. Yes, you may rank substantially higher on that list than your fellow local trail users, but it can help to remember there are plenty of people elsewhere who would crush you. As one of my ski chums says when he hears people brag about their conquests, “Don’t be too proud. Somebody probably did it decades ago in leather boots and on skinny skis.”The outdoors relativity complex doesn’t consume everyone, of course. Plenty of men and women exhibit a genuinely humble attitude, including elites who win races. But for those who do get consumed, the complex can drive everything they do, sapping the fun and beauty.It is also related, indirectly, to the “how long have you lived here” status symbol—a misguided favorite in resort towns, whose communities are built around residents’ shared interests, not tenure. Plus, longevity is relative. How do you think the elk feel when they hear some 25-year-old get all puffy because he’s been here six years and someone who’s only been here four is trying to tell him about the trail network?Stifling pride, as it were, takes conscious effort and doesn’t feel as good. The ego wants.Let it want.Sometimes we need to simmer down, gape at our surroundings like tourists, and remember that we’re in the greatest place there is: outside.last_img read more

The Omni Homestead – Hot Springs, VA

first_imgCurrently, all guests ages 5 and older must wear a face mask in accordance with Virginia’s mandates and adhere to social distancing guidelines. For our snow sports, we will be implementing additional measures such as lift line barriers, designated entrances and exits, single direction traffic flow and thorough sanitizing of rental equipment between uses. Resort associates will manage the lift line to ensure adequate spacing is observed. Skiable Acres? 42 The iconic Omni Homestead Resort offers unparalleled charm and genuine hospitality. Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, the resort features a wide array of outdoor activities along with award-winning golf and a luxurious Spa. The Omni Homestead offers a host of activities, including carriage rides, trap, skeet, sporting clays, ice skating, archery, and The Homestead S’mores Express. Unwind and rejuvenate at The Spa at The Omni Homestead with a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure or body treatment. The adults-only Serenity Garden, adjacent to the Spa, features the Octagon Pool which is fed by two natural hot springs. Average Inches of Snowfall? 30 What activities are available beyond the slopes? How many beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails are there? Longest run? 1/2 mile Are there activities available in the off-season? Washington, D.C. – 3.5 hoursRichmond, Va. – 2.5 hoursCharlottesville, Va. – 2 hoursRoanoke, Va. – 1 hourLexington, Ky. – 6 hrsCharlotte, N.C. – 4.5 hrsWinston Salem, N.C – 3.5 hrsAtlanta, Ga. – 8 hrsChattanooga, Tenn. – 5 hrs What are the best runs and why? Q: What do you offer beginners who want to learn to ski? At The Omni Homestead Resort, the health and safety of our guests and associates has always been, and always will be, our top priority. COVID-19 has changed every facet of our world and the way we do business. In an effort to Stay A Part of Safety, we have updated our already thorough cleaning guidelines and implemented additional processes and procedures to ensure your health, safety and comfort. The Omni Safe & Clean initiative follows the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Executive Orders 63 and 67. Protocols and guidelines from these authorities are expected to evolve, and as such, so will our below processes and procedures. Similarly, these guidelines meet or exceed the “Stay Safe” initiative set forth by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). To expedite the check-in process, we strongly encourage advance ticket purchases via our online store or upon arrival at the resort’s front desk. Waivers and rental forms will also be available at the front desk and should be completed prior to arriving at the Mountain Lodge. For guests renting equipment for two or more days, their reserved rentals will be marked with their name and room number and available at Kober’s from 8:30-10:30 am on their second, third or fourth day. Pass Prices?$199 individual Where is the best place to stay in the area? What are the best après ski activities at the resort and in the area? What guidelines and protocols have you put in place to keep visitors and employees safe during COVID-19? Number of lifts? 2 Opening Day Date? December 24 Driving Distance to Nearest Major City/Cities? The Omni Homestead offers a comfortable, relaxed and uncrowded area ideal for beginners. Home to the Sepp Kober Ski School, The Omni Homestead maintains an experienced team of ski and snowboard instructors who offer private lessons for all levels. Our best run is Upper Main, which offers a spectacular view of the valley. Plus, it is just steep enough to provide a bit of confidence building for our novice skiers and riders. 3 beginner, 5 intermediate, 1 advanced Do you offer any family friendly activities? The Homestead offers a variety of family friendly activities including indoor and outdoor pools, ice skating, archery, carriage rides and historic tours. One of the most popular family pastimes is making s’mores on the lawn. Families also enjoy challenging each other in DownTime, our family game area which features mini bowling, air hockey, arcade games and more. Base/summit elevation? 2,500 ft/ 3,200 ft After a day on the slopes, enjoy brisket and a Virginia craft beer at Kober’s at the Mountain Lodge. Or, make reservations for dinner in Jefferson’s where the focus is on regional cuisine such as the Highland County Rack of Lamb and Allegheny Trout. On Friday and Saturday nights, relax by the fireplaces in the Great Hall with a high-end bourbon, Scotch, gin or wine from the Lobby Bar. Reservations will be required for tubing and ice skating and limited to 25 persons per session. Ice skating sessions will be 75 minutes with a 15-minute break between sessions for cleaning and rink maintenance. In the warmer months, The Omni Homestead offers falconry, horseback riding, golf, hiking, carriage rides, zip lining, archery, mountain biking, fly fishing and other activities. Number of Slopes? 9last_img read more