Letter: More about Vail Resorts’ guest-centered safety policy and suggested improvements
November 28, 2017
Editor's note: This is part of a series regarding safety as a subset of something larger that could be called WeCare, by Paul Rondeau.
First, thank you to Vail Resorts and Douglas Schofield for their letter in the Saturday, Nov. 25, Vail Daily ("Vail Resorts promotes #RideAnotherDay campaign"). The letter emphasized their strong commitment to safety. Further, it referenced my letter of Saturday, Nov. 11 ("Vail Mountain No. 1, revisited") regarding the heartfelt story affecting two families. It was the death of a 5-year-old skier, while her mother was putting her skis on, who was run into by an out-of-control snowboarder, who also died.
The story in video form, #RideAnotherDay, is told at http://www.nsaa.org/safety-programs/collisions.
As highlighted earlier, Vail Mountain was awarded in May 2017 the No. 1 in safety award by the National Ski Area Association within the larger resorts. The award was for promoting safety amongst its employees and guests — considering many factors that would not be apparent to the public.
So considering the No. 1 award and the strong public support of safety, I wanted to relate a recent experience that might show room for further safety emphasis. It was an opportunity to test the notion of a guest-centered mindset and policy by going in person to renew my season Epic Pass before the mountain opened:
• The sales person was upbeat and knowledgeable.
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• The conversation centered on the monies due and completing the 8 1/2 by 14-inch, small and big print, release of liability form.
• There is no carbon copy, so you don't know what you signed.
• The form indicated you would not have to sign the Release of Liability form if you bought a season pass at Wilmot Mountain, Wisconsin, by paying an additional $100 per year. This just raised the question as to why this option was not offered here.
• The form had no reference to Your Responsibility Code, which calls out eight guidelines for a safe and enjoyable time on the mountain.
• There was no suggestion of picking up a trail map that contains valuable information that would enhance the guest experience.
• There might have been a welcoming handout highlighting some of the improvements on Vail Mountain and a few safety and enjoyment pointers for the upcoming season.
The implications of problems and suggestions here may or may not make any sense. But it is true that sometimes listening to the guest's perspective can shed light on something that has been tried and true for many years. My expectation "problem" is I am a retired corporate marketing-type, with a strong belief in "managing by walking around."
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