GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. has renewed its partnership with Yellowstone National Park and is celebrating with a "Go Green at Yellowstone" social media contest, which offers a top prize of four nights' lodging and meals for two at the park plus a set of Michelin tires.
Michelin recently renewed a five-year-old agreement with Yellowstone Park Foundation—the official fund-raising partner of Yellowstone National Park—covering tires and vehicle maintenance advice for the park's fleet of 800-plus vehicles.
Since 2008, Michelin has donated more than 1,400 tires for Yellowstone's fleet of patrol cars, garbage trucks, earthmoving vehicles, rotary snow plows and large load-hauling tractor trailers. Yellowstone vehicles collectively travel 3.75 million miles per year on the park's 420-plus miles of roadways, Michelin said.
Michelin originally partnered with Yellowstone after the foundation had commissioned a study in 2007 on its greenhouse gas levels. The partnership has helped Yellowstone save approximately $275,000 to $300,000 annually, Michelin said, which this year represents about a 12-percent reduction in the park's fleet and road maintenance budget.
"National park budgets have been cut dramatically due to sequestration," said Karen Bates Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation president.
"By saving Yellowstone over a quarter million dollars each year, Michelin's exceptional generosity allows the park to divert the funds it saves to other important projects and maximize its resources."
Michelin's "Go Green at Yellowstone" contest is meant to draw attention to the tire maker's ecological efforts on behalf of the park.
Those wishing to enter the sweepstakes need to do so via Twitter or Instagram, Michelin said, by sending a message or image to #MichelinYPF that illustrates a form of "green travel."
The grand prize winner will get a four-night stay at any Xanterra-operated lodge/hotel in Yellowstone National Park, plus food vouchers and up to $100 worth of free Michelin Lifestyle Ltd. accessories. Ten additional winners will be receive a copy of Official Guide to Yellowstone National Park, which Michelin publishes together with the YPF.
The contest is open until midnight EDT Aug. 31.
Yellowstone said its annual pre-Michelin tire replacement was done yearly, but Michelin tires run approximately two to three years per unit doing the same type of work.
Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America, said the company began the partnership to "help the park reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent by 2016."
He said the "results have been encouraging" and that Michelin is "proud to renew" its commitment "to supply tires and expertise to the country's most revered historical national park."
Michelin also regularly deploys its field engineers to consult with the park's fleet managers on optimizing tire use for better fuel economy and performance and provides training on the mounting of specialized tires.
Michelin said Yellowstone is like a "natural laboratory for us" with its varying terrains, temperature and altitude. It said it is "unlike anything we could ever replicate."
Other benefits from the Michelin partnership with Yellowstone include:
Donated Michelin X-One wide base tires have reduced the number of tires needed on the park's tractor trailers;
Michelin technicians and engineers were able to develop a new tread design that allowed the park year-round usage of just one tire for snow, ice, mud and bare pavements at the park;
The park saves $1,200 per loader vehicle that uses earthmover tires because of training; and
In using Michelin tires, there has been a dramatic reduction (estimated at 60 percent) in tires that need to be "chained-up" in winter, saving tire wear, labor and fleet down-time.
Michelin also supports Yellowstone by donating proceeds of the "Official Guide to Yellowstone National Park" that it publishes under the auspices of the YPF. The 106-page book includes information on tours, itineraries, insider tips from park experts and reliable recommendations for sightseeing.