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Safety initiatives often fly under the radar, less razzle-dazzle than guest relations or marketing campaigns, yet equally important to the industry in retention, conversion and overall growth.  Ski areas across the nation compete in six categories and the risk and safety departments aim to be just as inventive and interactive as their retail branding counterparts.  The safety awards highlight the creative, innovative, and tried-and-true methods that keep guests and employees safe on the mountain.

Past Safety Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2020 Safety Award Winners

Best Employee Safety Program
Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana

The Whitefish “5 Why” Learning Program critically examined root causes of safety incidents by asking a series of “why” questions, which identified learning opportunities and directed managers to identify due dates for mitigation. The results, 20 concrete action items, included a fleet-wide door pin inspection, identification of tools and utensils needing replacement, and the implementation of a ski and ride assessment for lift staff./p>

Best Guest Safety Program
Sugarbush Resort, Vermont

The Sugarbush team hosted an action-packed safety month, with “Real Powder Hounds Know the Code” cards for kids, sweeps with patrol, breakfast with the patrol team, “Shrediquette” for terrain park features, and Know the Code posters. By the end of January, over 500 stamp cards, 110 Powder Hound T-shirts and 500 Know the Code buttons had been given away.

Best #RideAnotherDay Program
Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Snowbasin’s #RideAnotherDay program involved an expanded “Family Zone,” encompassing 777 feet of trails in a high traffic family and beginner area, as well as placing friendly Safety Ambassadors around the mountain. Two-year resort data shows that while ski visitations increased 27%, incidents decreased by 25%, and within the “Family Zone,” 17 total incidents accounted for only 6.46% of all resort incidents.

Safety Champion
Cindy Dady, Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), New York

Cindy Dady, whose motto is, “Make it personal, make it safe, make it home,” spearheaded the “Know the Zone” safety campaign across all three ORDA ski venues and personally presents staff safety trainings. She encourages employees to take ownership of guest safety and actively empowers them to take action when presented with a safety issue.

Best Overall Safety Program (large ski area)
Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Snowbasin developed the #SAFERmtn brand, and employees and guests received messaging related to these tenants: Smart, Alert, Focused, Educated, Respectful. The program featured avalanche dog demonstrations, beacon park training and sign garden discussions, with more than 600 visitors stopping by the #SAFERmtn Base Camp during its opening weekend, over 600 branded buffs and 500 lip balms handed out, and more than 21,000 views across email, earned media, video and social media outreach.

Best Overall Safety Program (small ski area)
Gore Mountain, New York

Gore Mountain invested in new lift catch nets, children’s vests with safety handles, an interactive safety kiosk, RFID ticketing, and infused marketing communications with safety tips and reminders. Employees received expanded CPR and defensive driving training, mandatory ski and board inspections, and a new safety products vending machine—with yearly data that shows more than 1,000 items were dispensed and total workers compensation claims were down by 64%.

The Safety Awards are graciously sponsored by: