Photo by Jeff Kubina
In the midst of all that glitz, glamor, blinking, flashing lights, flushed wattage, excessive air-conditioning, and greenhouse gases galore, can we really make a gambling town an environmentally friendly town? The popular Rocky Mountain tourist attraction, Central City, in Colorado thinks that it can.
Buddy Schmalz, the mayor of the town of some 500 citizens, has become increasingly concerned about the future of the environment. He has made it a goal to make Central City become one of the first eco-gambling tourist attractions in the US. How exactly does he plan on accomplishing such a feat? By saving energy of course!Their first realization upon doing some testing on their efficiency numbers, (thanks to the help of the University of Colorado Denver's Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Program), was that their blinking, buzzing, and jingling gaming machines create so much heat from their voracious energy use, that their air conditioners are working full-time.
This presents kind of a double whammy effect, as the inefficiency of these machines is bad enough without the added insult to injury of the air-conditioning. To knock these two vultures of the fence with one stone (so to speak), Central City has optioned to replace all their standard Las Vegas style lighting with more energy efficient LED bulbs.
This change alone should reduce the energy needed by each machine by as much as 75 percent, which should bring a positive reduction to the amount of air-conditioning needed. However, in the cold Rocky Mountain timbers of 10,000 feet above sea level, they might actually need to start using their heaters more often now, which are hopefully fairly efficient commercial models.
The casinos are also starting recycling programs and installing solar panels to help support a percentage of their power needs. All this is part of a plan to bring back the boom to this tourist attraction, which has been losing some of its flare with the economy the way it is.
Could Las Vegas be the next town to start to become more friendly towards the environment? Will us Treehuggers see these places in a different light now that they appear to be trying to clean up their act? What changes would you like to see among these attraction to help ease their Bigfoot sized carbon footprints upon our earth?
Denver's Channel 7 news (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/17603201/detail.html)