Colorado Ski Country USA to air chairlift safety videos at member resorts
FRISCO — In an effort to prevent chairlift accidents and injuries, Colorado Ski Country USA launched a series of videos aimed at helping children stay safe on lifts. The videos use animated animals, including Penny the Safety Penguin, to appeal to children.
Penny is a lift attendant, who shares her safety tips, including watching others get on the lift first, asking the lift attendant for help, looking for the “wait here” line in the snow and watching the chairs for the right time to approach the lift. Penny says riders should scoot up to the loading line once a chair passes, and sit down and back on the chair. The motto the character uses for the video is “back to back and seat to seat.”
Penny then offers safety tips for riding the chairlift. Penny’s tips for children are to ask someone “bigger” to lower the bar, stay firmly seated and not reach for any items that are dropped.
The video also explains how to safely unload the lift. Penny tells skiers and snowboarders to check for loose clothing or objects that might have gotten stuck on the chair, raise the bar when the chair passes a sign telling riders to do so, lift ski or snowboard tips and signal to the lift attendant if riders want the lift to slow down. Finally, she says to stand up when the red line is underfoot, push forward and clear the area.
While these videos are geared toward teaching children the important safety components of riding a chairlift, Colorado Ski Country USA representatives said they also can help adults who are beginners.
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“The last few years, we’ve had a lot of new people moving to the state that aren’t as familiar with the sport,” Colorado Ski Country USA spokesman Chris Linsmayer said.
“We hope these videos are watched by young and old alike and especially by parents with their skiing and riding children,” Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills said in a statement.
Colorado Ski Country USA, a member organization that represents 23 ski areas in the state, will run the chairlift safety videos throughout the season at the resorts it represent as well as through a campaign on it social media and digital platforms.
“The biggest thing is it’s sometimes hard to keep safety messaging front and center and interesting, and especially for people who ski a lot, they kind of tune it out,” Linsmayer said. “The point is to make these engaging.”
Colorado Ski Country USA has made safety videos before, but this is its first animated video that is specifically geared toward children.
“Safety messaging is a priority every year,” Linsmayer said. “This is an attempt to freshen up messaging.”
Linsmayer explained that while the organization has done much deeper dives into the topic, representatives wanted to highlight the most important safety features. The tips in the video were determined by the organization as some of the most important things for people to know when it comes to chairlift safety.
“Obviously, you can create an exhaustive list, but we wanted to pull out the biggest pieces,” Linsmayer said.
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