Parents of young skiers push for Colorado chairlift safety as lawmakers renew tramway board
The Colorado Sun
With the recent injury of a 6-year-old girl who fell from a chairlift at Eldora and the death of a Texas mom who was thrown from a chairlift at Granby Ranch in 2016, ski safety advocates and parents like Larisa Wilder are pressing lawmakers give the board that governs chairlift safety more oversight in tracking lift-caused injuries and disciplining ski resorts that fail to meet safety standards.
“What we are really asking for for the parent community is safety for our kids. More safety bars. Better training,” said Wilder, who hopes her group, Parents For Safe Skiing, can grow into a consumer agency promoting chairlift safety.
Wilder, a Boulder parent with a 5-year-old son who takes lessons at Eldora Mountain Resort, testified last week before the Colorado Senate’s Local Government Committee as it studied the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies sunset review of the tramway board. She supported DORA’s recommendation that legislation reauthorizing the board for another 11 years drop the requirement that the most serious discipline of lift operators requires proof of “willful and wanton” misconduct. She also urged the lawmakers to require lift operators to record injuries during loading and unloading, not just falls from chairlifts.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.