Two local mom’s started a petition to improve safety for children in ski school at Eldora Mountain Resort. First and foremost they want a policy change that would require adult supervision for children under 6 years old or 48 inches tall while riding chairlifts.
Secondly the want Eldora to install safety bars on all lifts. The have started a petition that so far has 802 signatures and hope that the safety improvements will eventually become the industry standard.
“Immediately, we are asking for a change to their policy that no child under six or 48 inches rides without an adult present. And in the long term, we are asking they have good safety bars on all their lifts, which they currently do not.
The problem with the current policy is the small children should ride with an adult if available, which basically means you have no policy. The instructor can say, ‘You have no adult available, so up we send them.”
Eldora responded with the following statement to FOX31 and Channel 2:
“Eldora is proud to be a family-friendly mountain. Many of the staff at Eldora are parents themselves whose kids are growing up, or have grown up, learning to ski or ride at the resort. Thousands of kids enjoy our ski and ride school programs each year. What happened on Sunday involving a six-year-old-female guest, who was enrolled in ski and ride school when she fell approximately 29 feet from a carrier on Eldora’s Sundance chairlift, is extremely rare.
We take safety seriously, from the way we train our teams to the way we operate the resort. As such, and in light of Sunday’s incident, we are reviewing all of our policies and procedures related to children on lifts. We will continue to take steps that ensure Eldora remains a safe and great place to learn.
Our thoughts are with the family and we hope for a speedy recovery. If you are interested, we encourage you to visit the National Ski Area Association’s website, KidsOnLifts.org, to learn more about safety for children on lifts.”
We are a group of passionate parents and caretakers who value outdoor adventure. We want our children to develop a love for skiing. We understand that there is inherent risk in skiing. We also understand that Eldora’s current lift policy and day-to-day practices place our children at unreasonable and unnecessary risk. We represent parents and caretakers who currently have their children in Eldora ski school, have previously had their children in Eldora ski school, or would like to have their children in Eldora ski school if the ski lift policy were changed to ensure the safety of our children.
A six-year-old girl was hospitalized after falling from the Sundance ski lift on Eldora Mountain Resort on Sunday, February 24, 2019. At the time of the fall, the girl was participating in an official ski school lesson, was unaccompanied by an adult on the lift, and was riding a lift without a safety bar. Eyewitnesses reported that they were screaming at the lift conductor to stop the lift as they saw that the child had not been loaded properly. Had the lift been stopped, her fall would have been far shorter.
We understand that currently children ages 6 and under regularly ride lifts unaccompanied by an adult with no safety bar during Eldora ski school lessons. We would like Eldora to update their lift policy to be aligned with leading Colorado ski areas, and commit to enforcing the updated policy.
We ask that Eldora Mountain Resort make the following IMMEDIATE changes (before Eldorables ski lessons resume on Thursday, February 28, 2019):
1) The current policy states: “When riding a lift all students aged 6 and under and less than 48” tall must be accompanied by an adult when available.” We would like this to be changed to: “When riding a lift all students aged 6 and under and less than 48” tall must be accompanied by an adult.” While we understand that this may slow down the pace of lessons, we believe that safety is the first priority for young children.
The current policy states: “Students over 6 years old and 48” or taller must be capable of riding the lift safely to ride with another student aged 6 and at least 48” tall. Otherwise, they must ride with an adult when available.” We would like this to be changed to: “Students over 6 years old and 48” or taller must be capable of riding the lift safely in order to ride with another student aged 6 and at least 48” tall. Otherwise, they must ride with an adult.”
2) We ask that Eldora commit to enforcing the updated policy, and immediately train all of its ski school instructors in how to do so.
3) We ask that if a responsible adult is not present, parents have the option to ride the lift with their child for no additional lift ticket fee. If the ski school is not able to keep our children safe, we would like the opportunity to do so.
5) We ask that all chairlift operators are fully trained in how to safely load and unload children.
6) We ask that Eldora management commit to an ongoing relationship with Parents for a Safe Eldora to continue communication on keeping our children safe.
We ask that Eldora Mountain Resort make the following near-term changes as quickly as possible:
1) Install safety bars on all lifts.
2) Revise Eldora policies after conducting a full review of best practices (from other ski resorts) in ski school and lift safety.
3) Re-train all lift operators in best practices for safely loading and unloading children.
We have had previously positive experiences at Eldora and love having a family-oriented ski mountain so close to home. Our goal is simply to see Eldora adopt effective procedures and practices to keep our children safe.
– Parents for a Safe Eldora