Chairlifts maps reduce trash at Copper Mtn. | VailDaily.com
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Chairlifts maps reduce trash at Copper Mtn.

Kimberly Nicoletti
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Eric Drummond/Summit Daily NewsMatt Harshorn, center, runs down the trails he skied last year with his two kids, Trevor and Alyssa, using a map installed on the American Flyer lift at Copper Mountain Wednesday morning.
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COPPER MOUNTAIN , Colorado ” Last season, Copper Mountain installed trail maps on its American Eagle and American Flyer chairlifts. This year, they’re printing fewer paper trail maps as a result.

Copper spokesperson Lauren Pelletreau said the Copper cleanup crew last spring saw less trash on the ground than they had in previous years.

Of course, the maps on the chairlifts, which they call “map links,” aren’t responsible for all of the trash reduction; increased recycling and garbage bins at the top and bottom of lifts also help, she said.

The maps don’t just seem to be good for the environment; they also seem to be good for skiers and snowboarders. The maps mean skiers and snowboarders don’t have to take out and refold the maps on the lift or the slopes.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our guests,” she said. “They don’t want to wrestle with a map in the wind.”

A random survey of a couple dozen people on the lift affirmed that. Most people found them handy. However, the maps aren’t quite making a huge difference in skier and rider habits when it comes to picking up a paper map.

Most say they’re still likely to pick up a paper map the first time they visit any resort. And guests such as Mike Norris, from Charlotte, N.C., like to take a paper map home to show folks where they skied.

“When you stand in line, it’s convenient to pick up the map there,” said Greg Billett, from Michigan.

And as Norris pointed out, until all ski resorts have maps on the chairlifts, visitors will continue to choose paper maps.

Copper is the only Summit County resort to use chairlifts map though Vail and Beaver Creek have some.

Another issue with the maps is the advertisements they contain. The Forest Service has a policy that ads can only be in “interior spaces” on federal land, but during the 2002-03 season, it allowed Aspen Mountain to experiment with the maps.

On Nov. 30, 2005, it issued an “interim directive,” essentially saying that the lap bar is considered an interior space because it’s facing the riders, said Shelly Grail, snow ranger at the Dillon Ranger District.

Meanwhile, the ads don’t seem to bother many people on the lifts.

“I wasn’t even paying attention to the ad,” Norris said when asked about them. And Summit County locals like Marian Sukac seem to tune them out, since they’re so used to seeing them.

Pelletreau said Copper tries to find brands that are aligned with the Copper brand and relevant for guests, such as Aveeno.

“I noticed the ads, but they don’t matter,” said Egis Dambrauskas from Chicago. “I didn’t pay much attention.”


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