Alternative vacations offer earth-friendly travel

Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2006
Travelers looking for an "out of the box" alternative to the typical vacation can visit a Forever Resorts property and experience earth friendly travel. Forever Resorts accomplished several environmental milestones when 23 properties, including their corporate headquarters received national recognition from EPA's Performance Track for their environmental performance and the success of their environmental management system (EMS) called Forever Earth.

Last year, Big Bend National Park in Texas recycled nearly 43,000 pounds of plastic, aluminum, magazines, newspapers, paper, cardboard, and glass. The program has extended the park's landfill by approx. 30 years. Signal Mountain Lodge, Wyoming and Lake Crescent Lodge, Washington are utilizing sustainable and organic cuisine entrees in their menus. The chefs at each location are taking advantage sustainable fish alternatives, use local produce and prepare dishes with fresh organic ingredients. This process is creating a ripple effect by educating the local towns and visitors on how they too can work to help their cause. I can provide you with photos, interviews and additional information too. More on each location below!

1. Signal Mountain Lodge

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Signal Mountain Lodge has introduced the concept of sustainable cuisine to their visitors. The staff at The Peaks has created a menu incorporating locally sustainable entrees that are not only pleasing to the palate, but provide a unique opportunity to educate customers about tasty and sustainable cuisine. Due to their staff's efforts, all three of Signal Mountain Lodge's restaurants ? The Peaks, The Trapper Grill, and Leek's Pizzeria ? are the only restaurants in Wyoming to achieve certification by the Green Restaurant Association, which is a fee-based certification program that helps the restaurant industry become environmentally sustainable.

2. Chisos Mountains Lodge

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Chisos Mountains Lodge maintains its own licensed landfill within its boundaries since its location is so remote. Preserving the park landfill's capacity is a major priority for everyone since there are currently no other viable options for disposing of solid waste. Last year, Chisos Mountains Lodge and their staff recycled nearly 43,000 pounds of plastic, aluminum, magazines, newspapers, paper, cardboard, and glass, while donating 1,500 hours of labor at the park's recycling center. They have successfully executed a program that diverts approximately 40 percent of concessioner waste stream away from the park landfill and extended the life of the landfill by 30 years.

3. Lake Crescent Lodge

Olympic National Park, Washington

Executive Chef Jamison Brandt has received recognition for his seasonal menu that highlights regional flavors. He specializes in unique Northwest cuisine with an Asian flair which takes advantage of local produce and prepares dishes with fresh organic ingredients. Brandt uses the Northwest's best sustainable seafood. Chef Brandt has introduced delectable and ethical Best Choice sea foods with recipes featuring abundant and well-managed species of fresh and saltwater fish, crustaceans and mollusks that can be eaten with a clean conscience and culinary delight.

4. Mammoth Cave Hotel

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Mammoth Cave utilizes its rich history and local artisans to draw visitors. By supporting local artists and distributors, they are giving money back to the local economy and minimizing the need for transportation in purchasing. They are utilizing "wholistic" tourism, a term created by Forever Resorts to convey their plan to link the tourism business with their tourism vision.

By practicing "Green retail and Green Purchasing" and carrying Merchandise that is earth-wise, environmentally friendly and made from recycled and/or reclaimed materials at their resorts, Forever Resorts is educating their visitors and the surrounding area communities where their operate about the environment and what they can do to help.

About Forever Resorts

Forever Resorts has operated properties in national parks, recreation areas, national forests, and other vacation destinations since 1981. Celebrating its 25th year of operation, the company has significant experience in lodging, food service, retail, marinas and boat rental operations. Committed to protecting human health and the environment, Forever Resorts was the first multi-site marina, hospitality, and lodging operator in the United States to earn the International Organization for Standards 14001 certification for all its domestic operations. For more information please visit the company website at

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