Colorado: Safest Ski Lifts In The World?

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Colorado ski lifts
Ski lift disasters happen every year in virtually every ski region. Credit: ABC News

Did you know that Colorado has the most regulations for ski lifts out of anywhere on earth? According to The Summit Daily, Colorado has among the safest ski lifts in the world.

Lift malfunctions and accidents are quite rare, yet Colorado resorts had an epidemic of ski lift-related issues in the past three years, including one that killed a visitor at Ski Granby Ranch in December 2016.

Safety regulations
A tramway safety board ensures that all Colorado ski lifts are up to modern safety standards each year. Credit: Facebook/Keystone

Despite the recent incidents, Colorado is one of the safest places when it comes to riding lifts at ski resorts. According to an article by Outside Magazine, Colorado is one of 20 states that has a tramway safety board for ski lifts.

Colorado is considered to have one of the two most extensive safety boards in the country. At European ski resorts, the lift malfunction fatality rate is nine times higher than in U.S. ski areas.

At Colorado ski areas, skier safety is taken very seriously, and the amount of regulation on ski lifts proves a point.

Lift safety.
Colorado’s tramway safety board is one of the best in the nation. Credit: CBS Denver

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board is the state’s regulatory agency for lifts at ski resorts. The board conducts two to four inspections on each lift annually, depending on the scope of activities the ski area provides. Two are licensure inspections, which give resorts permission to operate their lifts ahead of the winter and summer seasons, and two are unannounced.

Colorado ski areas always have to be on their toes in terms of lift safety. One unannounced inspection occurs soon after winter operations have begun, and a second is conducted in summer for ski areas that operate lifts for hikers and bikers.

Vail gondola. Credit: Facebook

The 2019-2020 winter season in Colorado is now well underway. 

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area opened for the winter season last Friday, October 11th. They were the first ski resort in the United states to open for the 2019-2020 winter season, followed by Keystone and Loveland Ski Area on Saturday, October 12th. Winter is upon us!

2019 winter season commencing
Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Loveland Ski Area are now open for the winter season! Credit: Facebook

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