BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Dec. 20, 2012 —Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced the re-branding and enhancement of “Play It Safe, Play All Season”, the Company’s progressive slope safety campaign across its seven mountain resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in California and Nevada – prior to the holiday season.
“Our guests continue to tell us that safety is a key component of their mountain experience, and their comfort level on the mountain relative to safety is one of the most important things we can affect,” said Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts’ Mountain Division. “We launched our ‘Play It safe’ campaign last year across six of our resorts, but felt we needed stronger branding to reach our guests with the right message at the right time.”
The Play It Safe campaign now resembles the universal yellow caution signage even international guests will recognize and includes updated signs across the resorts and a new “rest area” initiative to help guests understand where to stop on popular runs.
“Across our resorts, we want to encourage locals, destination guests and employees alike to ski and snowboard responsibly so that everyone can play on the mountain all season long. While everyone is ultimately responsible for their own behavior on the slopes, we can absolutely do our part in encouraging and enforcing responsible behavior and are committed to doing that.”
Play It Safe is a multi-faceted, comprehensive campaign aimed at addressing slope safety by communicating how guests can ski and snowboard more responsibly and still have a great time. All seven of the Company’s resorts are implementing enhanced on-mountain Play It Safe messaging across a variety of channels and in critical locations, such as ticket offices, slow zones and areas where trails merge, to reach skiers and snowboarders of all ages. Vail Resorts is also working on additional video communicationswith sponsored Olympic and world champion ski and snowboard athletes Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White, who both share the company’s safety vision.
Guests can also expect to see a greater presence of mountain safety and operations personnel at all seven resorts. The mountain safety program, which started as the Yellow Jackets program at Vail more than 10 years ago, was designed to provide a dedicated staff whose primary focus was enforcing the rules of skiing and snowboarding on the mountain, allowing ski patrol to focus on the care and transport of injured guests. A number of tactics were utilized throughout the years, including monitoring runs of the day. The program at Vail has nearly doubled in size since its inception and has become a model for the Company’s six other resorts. Training for the mountain safety group has been modified to better equip employees to deal with people who are in violation of the laws and rules of skiing and snowboarding. The program also went through a comprehensive audit in the last year to identify opportunities for increased visibility and effectiveness and as a result, new tactics for enforcement and education are being established. Skiers and snowboarders who have their pass revoked for safety violations are required to attend a safety awareness class, which has also been overhauled and implemented across the company.
“It’s important that the Yellow Jacket position is a job that employees are passionate about, proud of the impact they can have on the guest experience and in which veteran Yellow Jackets can continue to fine-tune the program,” saidCarrig. “Yellow Jackets across Vail Resorts have been empowered now more than ever to make a difference with slope safety.”
In addition to the Yellow Jacket program, management teams across all seven mountain resorts are also being provided with additional training to support the slope safety efforts and will have a larger on-mountain presence particularly on busy days.
“At Vail Resorts, we’re always looking for opportunities to create more awareness and comfort for our guests, whether it’s through new signage and communications or taking a fresh look at the way things have traditionally been done,” said Carrig. “Our focus is on both skiing and riding in control and slow in the designated ‘slow zones’. Skiing and snowboarding are activities enjoyed by young and old alike, and the more we can encourage responsible skiing and snowboarding, the more fun we’ll all have on the mountain.”
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.comand consumer website is www.snow.com.