Company encourages people to bring reusable bottles | PostIndependent.com

Company encourages people to bring reusable bottles

Scott N. Miller
Vail Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Everyone who’s been to a neighborhood barbecue knows what “BYOB” means. A local company wants to add one more initial – “W” – to that old acronym.

More and more local events are trying to get rid of bottled water by using a “water bar” that features filtered water from Sundance Water of Minturn. That company is the local dealer for Kinetico-brand water-treatment systems.

The water bar has been at the Teva Mountain Games, the Vail Dance Festival and other events. This week, the water bar will be at the annual American Ski Classic.

The idea for the water bar started about a year ago, when Sundance Water owner Ken Netzeband came up with the idea for the water bar and took it to the Teva Mountain Games. That led to setting up the bar elsewhere, from the Ford Amphitheater to the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

“It’s been great for us,” Vilar Performing Arts Center manager Gena Buhler said. “We can really expose our customers to the possibility of having filtered water in their homes instead of bottles.”

Buhler said the water bar is set up for big events at the Vilar, and people appreciate the chance to get a cup of cold water instead of paying for something bottled at the bar.

There’s a business case for the water bar, of course, and Sundance sales and marketing manager Scott Robinson said appearances at events have helped the company put systems into several local homes and businesses.

But Robinson said the water bar is also a way to get people weaned from bottled water, which tends to cost more – and always puts more stuff into landfills – than filtered water does.

Between the pitches for environmental impacts and costs, Sundance can make some sales. And the break-even point between buying a system versus the cost of buying cases of water can be quick – Robinson said that the Howard Head Sports Medicine center in Vail recently bought a system and stopped buying water. The system paid for itself in about three months.

That’s why some lodges and other businesses are trying to go bottle-less.

“Hopefully people will start to bring their own bottles to events,” Robinson said. But, he added, bottles of expensive water are just “part of the outfit” for some people.

But the people at the water bars are more than happy to talk to even the most fashion-conscious about the advantages of their product. And people seem to want to talk.

“Some people will talk for 20 minutes,” Buhler said of Vilar patrons.

Robinson said he expects the water bar to become a more visible part of the valley’s event scene in the future. And, he said, the folks at Sundance are trying to find compostable cups – those will eventually break down even in a landfill, he said.

“I think it’s been a win-win for everyone,” Robinson said.

Buhler agreed.

“It’s a great thing to have,” she said. “And the guys are so informed – they’re really able to talk beyond just the selling points.”


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