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March 30, 2008
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Town, resort work to curtail 'Gaper Day'

BRECKENRIDGE " In recent years "Gaper Day" celebrations have gotten a bit out of hand, officials said.

Throwing snowballs at tourists, yelling obscenities at guests and illegal drinking on the hill are a few examples. So, Tuesday, deputies, officers, Breckenridge Ski Resort officials and additional hired security will be out in force.

Anyone involved in abusive behavior, offensive language or dress, or illegal drinking at the resort will have their pass pulled for two years, said Nicky DeFord, senior communications manager for the resort.

"We've taken a pretty hard stance on this the last three years," she added.

Residents think "it's fun, it's tradition," but it has gotten out of control in the last few years, said DeFord.

"People can still be out having fun," she continued. Just "remember people come to Breckenridge because it's a very welcoming place ... our reputation is on the line."

During the last couple Breckenridge Town Council meetings, the topic has come up.

Corry Mihm, executive director of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber, told the council earlier in the month that they are trying to send the message that the Town does not support the "nastiness that surrounds April Fools." The Town will not be hiring a band, officials are working to spread the word to businesses to "curb their employees" and the restaurant association decided not to do a barbecue, she added.

However, Town officials are working with Elite Athletes to help with its fundraiser another time and the restaurant association is also looking into other dates, she said.

Breckenridge Police Department put together a flier to distribute to restaurants, businesses throughout Town. At this week's council meeting, Councilmember Eric Mamula brought up the idea of hanging fliers to educate the public and try to dissuade problems.

"To let people know that we think it's an issue," Mamula said.

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The Summit Daily Updated Mar 30, 2008 03:21PM Published Mar 30, 2008 03:21PM Copyright 2008 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.