Ski resorts jump on the ban wagon |

Ski resorts jump on the ban wagon

Jane Stebbins

SUMMIT COUNTY – Vail Resorts and Intrawest officials have enacted fire bans of their own at their High Country resorts, banning campfires, gas stoves and grills, fireworks, smoking and any other spark-producing devices.

Vail Resorts’ ban is effective immediately at Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek and Vail resorts, said Amanda McNally, communications coordinator at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Other fire bans outlawing fireworks and open fires – even in established campgrounds – have been implemented by the county, the state and the town of Breckenridge.

“If someone is caught violating the ban, we will escort them off the mountain and, depending on the situation, contact the local sheriff or police,” McNally said. “The ban on smoking in the summer is really nothing new. We ask people not to smoke, not to throw things off the lift, but and they still do. We want people to take this seriously. It’s a situation we’re taking seriously.”

Over the next few days, mountain operations crews at each resort will post signs at key access points around base areas, including trailheads, service roads, operating chairlifts and gondolas, and at on-mountain restaurant facilities.

Resort officials also are taking other precautionary measures, including keeping snowmaking systems operable in the event water is needed to reach areas quickly, having immediate access to bulldozers and other large machinery, and coordinating emergency plans with the U.S. Forest Service and local authorities.

Copper Mountain has implemented a fire ban integrating federal, state and county bans. People will not be allowed to smoke outdoors except in designated areas, nor will they be permitted to ignite fireworks or other open fires. Additionally, 30 on-mountain employees were trained Wednesday in wildland firefighting, including basic fire safety, so they can assist the Copper Mountain Fire Department if needed.

“If my risk manager sees you running around with a magnifying glass trying to burn ants, he’s going to be upset,” said Ben Friedland, director or marketing of marketing and communications for the resort. “It’s very serious, whether it’s here at our business or our homes. It’s an issue not to be taken lightly, and we want to take any precautionary measures we can.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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