Vail public safety measures return for New Year’s Eve
VAIL – New Year’s Eve in Vail will include two public safety components, plus adjustments in bus service, as part of an overall campaign to create a safe and fun atmosphere for residents and guests.The public safety measures include a townwide curfew which will be enacted from 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 5 a.m. Jan. 1 for those 17 and under unless accompanied by a parent or guardian or returning from work or an event. Also during the same six-and-a-half-hour curfew period, a special event district will be established in the heart of Vail’s pedestrian village. The district will be accessible to anyone 21 or older, or accompanied by an adult or guardian. Adjustments in bus service also will take place to reduce last-minute crowding and to allow for effective service for those returning home.Vail’s in-town bus route, which connects Vail Village, Golden Peak and LionsHead, will be discontinued at 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and will resume at 6:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day. In addition, ECO regional bus service will be temporarily suspended inbound and outbound in Vail between 10:30 p.m. and midnight on New Year’s Eve. Free outbound service by ECO will resume at midnight. Town of Vail and ECO buses will run outbound from the Vail Transportation Center until 2:30 a.m. The Town of Vail first implemented the public safety measures during the 2001 Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve holidays to reduce crowding and underage drinking in Vail Village. Since then, the measures have been repeated during the two major holidays and have become a familiar routine. Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger said the public safety policies have worked to create a family-friendly atmosphere during the holidays. “Our role is to help our residents and guests enjoy the holidays in a safe and responsible manner,” he said. “We’ve had great cooperation in the past and we’d like to ask for voluntary compliance from the public again this year.” Entertainment options for the evening include a Vail Mountain Torch Light Ski Down which will take place at 6 p.m. from Golden Peak, followed by a fireworks show. In addition, Y05, an event for youth in grades 9 through age 20, will take place at Dobson arena. Also, most restaurants and bars are taking reservations for New Year’s Eve celebrations. For those who plan to consume alcohol during the evening, Chief Henninger reminds holiday revelers to plan ahead and be responsible by arranging for a designated driver, or taking a bus or taxi as an alternative ride home. “We don’t want anyone to start 2005 off on a bad note,” said Henninger. “Please ensure your safety and that of others who use our roads; don’t drink and drive.”For more information on Vail’s public safety measures, contact the Vail Police Department at 479-2210.