Breck dons yellow for slope safety |

Breck dons yellow for slope safety

Summit Daily/Reid Williams

BRECKENRIDGE ” Breckenridge Ski Resort employees are donning bright colors in the name of safety.

Members of the resort’s guest services staff ditched their blue coats and started wearing yellow ones last week in an attempt to be more visible on the slopes.

The hope is that those wearing “yellow jackets,” as they are known at Vail Resorts’ other mountains that include Keystone in Summit County, will be more visible as they do speeder control.

It’s a small step in addressing safety, but more changes are to come, said resort spokeswoman Emily Jacob. Every year, reckless riders on the mountain are blamed for injuries ” many that are serious. The Colorado Ski Safety Act says, ultimately, it’s the riders who are responsible for their own safety at resorts.

Breckenridge has been working on a new safety program since the beginning of the season, but Jacob said details are not ready to be made public.

The program is likely to include new employees that will work as adjunct ski patrol.

It will be implemented across all four of Vail Resorts’ Colorado ski areas and possibly Heavenly in California, Jacob said.

The proposal is under consideration by the company’s executive committee.

Jacob said the proposed program is “entirely new,” and the ski company hopes to unveil it for Skier Safety Week, set this season for Jan. 15-21, 2005.

Jacob said she could not provide further details until the committee hands down approval.

“Yellow jackets” at Breckenridge are not new.

Volunteers and staff who do speed control on the slopes were wearing blue jackets because, along with asking speeders to slow down, they are charged with guest services like providing directions and morning grooming reports.

Up to this point and throughout last season, guest service employees wore blue jackets, Jacob said.

A November slopeside collision that resulted in guest services employee Claudia Carbone ” who was not on the clock during the accident ” being hospitalized with a broken pelvic bone prompted staff discussion and a decision to switch to yellow jackets for more visibility.

“We’ve gone back to yellow because it’s an industry standard and gives them more visibility,” Jacob said.

Employees at Keystone Resort, Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek wear yellow jackets when doing speed control on those mountains.

At Copper Mountain, both ski patrol and the volunteer patrol, called “Slope Watch,” wear mango-colored jackets.

Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249, or at

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