BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Dec. 23, 2011 —Vail Resorts
, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced details of “Play It Safe, Play All Season”, the Company’s enhanced slope safety campaign across its six mountain resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly and Northstar in California and Nevada.
“Our guests have been telling us that safety is a key component of their mountain experience, and their comfort level on the mountain relative to safety is one of the most important things we can affect,” said Blaise Carrig, co-president of Vail Resorts’ mountain division. “Because of this, we’re launching the Play It Safe campaign across our resorts to encourage locals, destination guests and employees alike to ski and snowboard responsibly so that everyone can have fun on the mountain all season long. While everyone is ultimately responsible for their own behavior on the slopes, we can absolutely do our part in encouraging and enforcing responsible behavior and are committed to doing that.”
The Play It Safe campaign is a multi-faceted, comprehensive campaign aimed at addressing slope safety by communicating how guests can ski and snowboard more responsibly and still have a great time. All six of the Company’s resorts are implementing enhanced on-mountain Play It Safe messaging across a variety of channels and in critical locations, such as terrain park exits and areas where trails merge, to reach skiers and snowboarders of all ages. Vail Resorts is also working on video communications
with sponsored Olympic and world champion ski and snowboard athletes Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White who share the company’s safety vision.
Guests can also expect to see a greater presence of mountain safety and operations personnel at all six resorts. The mountain safety program, which started as the Yellow Jackets program at Vail more than ten years ago, was designed to provide a dedicated staff whose primary focus was enforcing the rules of skiing and snowboarding on the mountain, allowing ski patrol to focus on the care and transport of injured guests. A number of tactics were utilized throughout the years, including monitored runs of the day. The program at Vail has nearly doubled in size since its inception and been a model for the Company’s five other resorts. Training for the group has been modified to better equip employees to deal with people who are in violation of the laws and rules of skiing and snowboarding. The program also went through a comprehensive audit in the last year to identify opportunities for increased visibility and effectiveness and as a result, new tactics for and enforcement and education are being established. Skiers and snowboarders who have their pass revoked for safety violations are required to attend a safety awareness class, which has also been overhauled and implemented across the company.
“It’s important that the Yellow Jacket position is a job that employees are passionate about, proud of the impact they can have on the guest experience and in which veteran Yellow Jackets can continue to fine-tune the program,” saidCarrig. “Yellow Jackets across Vail Resorts have been empowered now more than ever to make a difference with slope safety.”
In addition to the Yellow Jacket program, management teams across all six mountain resorts are also being provided with additional training to support the slope safety efforts and will have a larger on-mountain presence particularly on busy days.
PLAY IT SAFE
“At Vail Resorts, we’re always looking for opportunities to create more awareness and comfort for our guests, whether it’s through new signage and communications or taking a fresh look at the way things have traditionally been done,” said Carrig. “Our focus is on both skiing and riding in control and slow in the designated ‘slow zones’. Skiing and snowboarding are activities enjoyed by young and old alike, and the more we can encourage responsible skiing and snowboarding, the more fun we’ll all have on the mountain.”