Ski pass fraud doubles in Vail, police say |

Ski pass fraud doubles in Vail, police say

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photoVail police say the number of people trying to get on the mountain with someone else's ski pass increases near the end of the season

VAIL , Colorado” The number of arrests of people suspected of illegally using another person’s ski pass has doubled this season in Vail, Colorado, authorities say.

Vail Police reports show that from January to March of 2009, there were 133 arrests for “deceptive use of a ski facility,” compared to 69 arrests during the same time period last year.

In the first week of April, there were 29 similar arrests.

“The numbers are up slightly,” said Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger. “This time of year people are usually more careless. We see a lot more of this in the spring.”

Henninger said the increase might be partly due to the Epic Pass, which has put the ski pass into more people’s hands.

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“A lot of people who may have never had a ski pass before now have purchased Epic Passes and are lending them out to other people,” he said. “They need to understand that that is a crime, and that they will likely get caught and be subject to appear in municipal court.”

The actual number of ski pass fraud cases is probably a bit higher than the arrest records show. The arrest records do not show cases when the resort does not request police action.

“Most of the time we’re called out we arrest the person,” Henninger said. “What happens is that the scanner identifies someone using someone else’s pass. Then security goes out and sees if it’s a prosecutable case, then they decide whether or not to call us.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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