Public-safety measures return to Vail for New Year’s Eve |

Public-safety measures return to Vail for New Year’s Eve

Daily Staff Report

Instead of thousands of intoxicated juveniles congregating on Bridge Street as in years’ past, Vail’s two-year-old safety plan for New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July promises to make the Vail Village a safe place to be for families.

As part of the holiday safety plan – instituted on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve – children younger than 18 years old have to turn in for the night at 10:30 p.m. unless they are accompanied by an adult. The curfew is being enforced throughout town; violators will be taken into protective custody until a parent or legal guardian picks them up.

A special-events district prohibits anyone younger than 21 from entering the Vail Village on New Year’s Eve. Identification checkpoints will be set up at the perimeters, from the Covered Bridge to Checkpoint Charlie. Vail’s safety plan was instituted two years ago in response to an increasing number of juvenile revelers crowding onto Bridge Street during Independence Day and New Year’s Eve.

An unsanctioned tradition for decades, crowds in recent years had become increasingly unruly, resulting in numerous arrests and increasingly serious injuries during the two holidays.

Over the past two years the safety plan has cut down on arrests and prevented injuries, said Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger.

The safety measures will be enforced by Vail police officers with the help of 40 additional officers hired from outside agencies for the evening. A corps of volunteers will man checkpoints at the special event district venue. Visitors are advised to bring some form of identification and prepare for a brief wait at the checkpoint entrances.

Juvenile revelers, however, won’t be completely out of options for New Year’s Eve.

A New Year’s Eve party at Adventure Ridge, Vail Resorts’ playground on Vail Mountain starts at 8:15 p.m. and goes until 12:30 a.m.

Additionally, the town is hosting an all-ages concert at Dobson Ice Arena from 10 p.m. to 1 p.m. For ticket information for both events, call 476-9090. For information on special New Year’s Celebrations in Vail bars and restaurants, call 477-0075.

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