VERNON, New Jersey — Mountain Creek will dedicate the week of January 13-19 to reinforcing the importance of ski and snowboard safety, as part of the National Ski Areas Association’s National Safety Awareness Week. Ski resorts nationwide will promote safety with the goal of increasing the quality of the resort experience and reducing the frequency of accidents on the slopes.
Safety Week activities are centered on the seven points of the Your Responsibility Code, which are key elements of safe skiing and riding. Mountain Creek has implemented a zero tolerance policy for violations of the skiers responsibility code within the designated slow zones, with the first offense resulting in the loss of a season pass for one week (or removal of a day ticket). After the suspension, the individual must watch a safety video and score a 100% on a safety test to recover their pass. A second offense results in loss of privileges for 14 days and a third strike will keep the individual out for the season. The code mandates:
- Always stay in control.
- People ahead of you have the right of way.
- Stop in a safe place for you and others.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
- Know how to use the lifts safely.
New for the 2006-2007 season, Mountain Creek has made significant investments and improvements targeting slow zones and safety on beginner terrain. Most notably, the resort has created a completely protected area on the main beginner trail, Sugar, which is serviced by its own lift. The change has created a 100% slow zone in the novice area, and eliminated access from the more difficult terrain above. The bottom of the beginner terrain has also been widened and a new intro-level terrain park has been added.
In further efforts, Mountain Creek has revamped all safety signs on the mountain, purchasing 25 new slow skiing zone signs and 10 banners including three that are 20’x3′. Additionally, the Mountain Services Safety Team and the Police Rangers program have been combined, creating one 50 person Ranger Patrol, who will wear new high visibility red uniforms and work with our 125 member ski patrol staff.
During Safety Awareness Week, Mountain Creek will highlight existing programs including “Lids On Kids” and “Heads Up,” as well as continue a unified, year-round effort to promote safety. Mountain Creek supports the voluntary use of helmets as one of several safety considerations on the slopes, making helmets available for adults and children through our rental center, Snow Sports School and retail shops at affordable prices.
“Lids on Kids” is a national helmet safety program promoted on-site by Mountain Creek. The primary focus of the program is to educate ski/snowboard participants about the benefits and limitations of helmets, and enable them to make an informed choice about whether to wear a helmet or have their child wear one.
The “Heads Up” campaign is an ongoing NSAA initiative, which Mountain Creek has incorporated into their educational programs and signage. People generally identify “Heads Up” as a friendly safety-related reminder, so this theme is an easy way to remind staff and guests that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
In an effort to introduce and develop new riders and skiers to the sport in a safe, comfortable atmosphere, the Ride and Ski School has also added new beginner programs, most significantly including a new Learn To Ride or Ski Guarantee – which promises to have beginners skiing or riding green terrain by the end of the 3rd group lesson, or they get free additional clinics until they can. Guests may find pricing and further details online.