Steamboat Springs Special Olympians, from left, Seth Sobeski and Scott Bjorgum and ski instructor Charley Phelan ski in March at Steamboat Ski Area. This year, Intrawest will recommend all skiers and snowboarders wear helmets at its resorts.

File photo

Steamboat Springs Special Olympians, from left, Seth Sobeski and Scott Bjorgum and ski instructor Charley Phelan ski in March at Steamboat Ski Area. This year, Intrawest will recommend all skiers and snowboarders wear helmets at its resorts.

Intrawest focuses on helmets

Children in lessons, instructors will be required to wear helmets this year

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— Intrawest, the parent company of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., is tightening the rules and increasing awareness about helmet use at its resorts this year.

Intrawest will recommend this ski season that all skiers and snowboarders wear helmets at its resorts, and it will require helmets for children and some teens in ski and snowboard school programs, according to a Thursday news release. All students participating in freestyle terrain parks will be required to wear a helmet.

At Steamboat Ski Area, helmets already were required for terrain park classes. Under the new Intrawest rules, the resort will require students ages 15 and younger to wear helmets, Ski Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said.

"We've always kind of had helmets on the brain, no pun intended, as far as a safety message and a safety initiative," she said.

Instructors teaching classes with helmet requirements also must wear helmets, Kasten said. Intrawest is implementing that policy companywide for the 2010-11 season.

Intrawest's news release stated that the helmet would be included in the ski school packages, but Kasten said the resort hadn't worked out those details. Ski area officials are meeting this afternoon for more discussions, she said.

"Obviously, it's going to have an impact on a lot of facets of our organization, and we're still trying to get those in line," Kasten said.

The company also will increase the focus on helmet use in its graphics and advertisements, according to the release.

"Intrawest is working in conjunction with the ski industry to establish important best practices on behalf of our resort guests and employees," said Bill Jensen, chief executive officer at Intrawest.

Kasten said Ski Corp. would increase helmet publicity in line with Intrawest's policies.

"It's been a part of our safety message to use helmets and know how to use them properly," she said. "I think there will be a marketing component to it where we'll show more people utilizing helmets in our marketing."

The change will be implemented at Steamboat, Copper Mountain and Winter Park in Colorado. It also will be made at Stratton Mountain in Vermont, Mountain Creek in New Jersey, Tremblant Resort in Quebec, Panorama Mountain in British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

Comments

jhr2000 5 years, 2 months ago

Why not require all instructors, while teaching, to wear a helmet? Know it would tough on some but it would certainly set an example.

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addlip2U 5 years, 2 months ago

not sure how to interpret: ....."helmets for children and SOME teens in ski and snowboard school programs, according to a news release that came out today."

who qualify to be the "some" teen(s)?

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Brent Boyer 5 years, 2 months ago

addlip2U: That's a good question that we hope can be more fully explained when we update this story later today. According to the Intrawest news release: - "Required helmet use for children/youth program participants aged three to 12, 13, 14 or 17 at Intrawest's wholly-owned ski resorts in North America (upper age limit will be determined by each resort and will include regional considerations)." We're awaiting word from Ski Corp. officials about what the upper age limit will be at the Steamboat Ski Area, or if it's even been determined.

Thanks, Brent Boyer Editor, Pilot & Today

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dave reynolds 5 years, 2 months ago

YOUNG ADULTS? 18 AND 19...RESPONSIBLE FOR THIER OWN DECISIONS AND ACTIONS..

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addlip2U 5 years, 2 months ago

Brent, thank you for your follow up. Unfortunately the updated story did not offer further clarification. Keep trying :)

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JayKinghorn 5 years, 2 months ago

Sit tight, addlip2U - after all, there are almost two months left until ski season so hopefully you'll have an answer to your pressing concern by then.

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Brent Boyer 5 years, 2 months ago

addlip2u, I think this paragraph from the above story answers the question:

At the Steamboat Ski Area, helmets already were required for terrain park classes. Under the new Intrawest rules, the resort will require students 15 and younger to wear helmets, Ski Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said.

Thanks, Brent

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Magpie 5 years, 2 months ago

Helmets are a good step. Getting drunks off the slopes by stopping the sale of alcohol (or at least not promoting Jager-shots at 4-points) would make it a lot safer out there.

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