Letters to the editor for Dec. 17
In response to the Dec. 7 editorial in the Tribune about ski resort safety: How many years of experience do you have working in the ski industry?
Personally, I have 15 years in the industry, from loading, operating and supervising, to working on summer lift maintenance to working for a manufacturer of chairlifts in the installation of lifts.
Adding restraining bars would add a higher price to the final cost of the lift. It is an option left up to the resort. Plus, there’s the additional cost associated with daily, weekly, monthly and yearly preventative maintenance. Thus the cost of your season pass would most likely go up, and none of us wants that.
So where do you get off writing a piece demanding that safety bars and helmets be mandatory for a sport that is already inherently dangerous?
To the best of my knowledge, there has not been a major increase in deaths of people falling off chairs and dying as a result.
What a person does while riding a chairlift is their responsibility – not that of the resort or the lift operator. Once you load a lift, it’s in your best interest to sit there and not move around in the seat. What do you think ski instructors and lift operators tell beginning skiers? Sit still, put your arm around the bar and hold on.
How do you propose keeping an eye on every loaded chair when it’s between the loading/unloading terminals? Have a resort employee standing at every 50 feet of the lift line, yelling at people to lower the bar? Or place cameras on every tower head? To do so either way would add another cost to the resort, which in turn would pass it on to the consumer. Then you would write a piece on the high costs of a season pass.
The debate of helmet use is ongoing and inconclusive. You can go to any ski-related forum and read for yourself about use or nonuse. It’s a personal choice. There has yet to be a 100 percent, sure-fire study of helmet use or nonuse.
I’m responding to the letter written by Danny Walsh published Dec. 11. I’m sorry, but equating the lowering of a safety bar on a high-speed chairlift to an assault on your personal freedoms is seriously lacking in common sense and shows real immaturity.
The rules and codes put in place at these resorts are not part of some grand conspiracy just to deprive you of your God-given rights. They are there to protect and ensure a positive experience for everyone on the mountain. If you don’t like it, then go into the backcountry and ride naked or go climb a rock without a rope. It’s your life.
But remember this: When you need help, it’s usually the taxpayers who have to pay the price of your bad decisions, and the same holds true at the ski resorts. It’s a fact that accidents cause insurance rates to rise, which in turn is paid for, once again, by us in the form of higher pass rates and ticket prices.
So put down the hippie lettuce, slap on a helmet, lower the bar, enjoy the view and have a nice day.
South Lake Tahoe
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