Letter: When will Winter Park Resort make safety a priority?
When will Winter Park Resort’s management and, in turn, the ski patrol, have the courage to control the reckless, high speed, irresponsible skiers and riders on the seven territories of Winter Park and Mary Jane?
Imagine a driver on Interstate 70 going 80 mph and changing lanes in 50 mph traffic. It’s insane and reckless. Collisions are inevitable and come with dire consequences.
What will be enough? A wrenched back? A broken leg? A death? Maybe multiple deaths. Is Winter Park so concerned with offending the inconsiderate, careless scofflaws with a warning or ticket removal that the resort is willing to jeopardize the safety of the responsible 99.5% of its business — those who ski safely?
It seems like this shouldn’t be just a criticism, but instead should propose a solution, so here are a few suggestions:
1) Pull the lift tickets of those who are a danger to all on the slopes, either for the day, the week or the season, depending on the offense and the degree of cooperation from the offender.
2) Publicize in the newspaper whose tickets have been pulled. At least one Colorado ski area has done this.
3) Increase ski patrol’s presence on trails and don’t hesitate to warn dangerous offenders.
4) Add more speed control fences at high traffic congestion points. I can think of some obvious choices. Slow signs do little good — reckless skiers speed by them all the time.
It’s a shame when lifelong skiers abandon the sport, not because of injury or age, but because of FEAR of collision and injury by fast, out of control skiers and riders. Existing signs on lift towers warn: “Reckless Skiing Will Not Be Tolerated,” yet seldom is this enforced. Better these minor preventative measures than injury, death, litigation, bad publicity and loss of business. In closing, my question remains: When?
— Pete Peterson, Tabernash
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