Sugar Bowl wins NSAA Chairlift Safety Award |

Sugar Bowl wins NSAA Chairlift Safety Award

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Sugar Bowl Resort has been awarded this year’s “Best Chairlift Safety Program” by the National Ski Areas Association, an industry organization representing 325 alpine resorts and 472 suppliers. The award, presented to Sugar Bowl’s CEO and President Rob Kautz at the National Convention and Tradeshow in Palm Springs, recognizes the resort’s efforts to elevate awareness and implement best safety practices across the resort, most notably in the area of chairlift safety.

This marks the second NSAA award recognition for Sugar Bowl in the past three seasons, having won the “Best Guest Service Program” award in 2010.

After a tragic chairlift fatality incident in which a 7-year-old Sugar Bowl Ski Team member fell from the Mt. Lincoln chairlift on Dec. 18, 2011, the resort worked in close cooperation with the family to implement the John Henderson Memorial Chairlift Safety Initiative, a comprehensive, 13-piece safety program with guiding principles focused on elevating education, awareness and training for both staff and guests.

Components of the initiative include heightened monitoring via new streaming webcams at the bottom of several lift terminals, new incident investigation protocols, reduced 3:1 student-to-teacher ratios in children’s lessons, a “sit on the spot” chairlift target campaign, base-area practice chairs, lowering all restraining bars for skiers and riders under 51” in height, and more. The program has been well received by skiers and riders, and now recognized as exemplary by the industry.

In addition, Sugar Bowl celebrated NSAA Ski Safety Week this season with a new “S.A.F.E.T.Y.” campaign, in which each letter represented a different safety initiative, each day of the week. S was for “Sit on the Spot,” A was for “Avalanche Awareness,” F was for “First Aid,” E was for “Education,” T was for “Tree Well Awareness,” and Y was for “Y wear a helmet?” For more information, visit