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Credit Cullen McHale

Featured Article

Setting the Standard

How Boulder’s Local Eldora is Leading the Slope Safety Charge

January is officially recognized as Ski & Snowboard Safety Month by the winter recreation industry. But as Sam Bass, longtime local skier and Eldora marketing director, will tell you, “safety is always on” at Boulder’s favorite backyard ski resort.

"With the leadership of our visionary patrol director, Travis Brock, along with input from our hundreds of dedicated employees, we develop initiatives to bring our focus on safety to life every season,” Sam says. “Skiing and riding safely is the best way to ensure that we can all enjoy these amazing activities for decades to come.”

Eldora was founded in 1962 to serve the growing ski market in the greater Boulder and Denver areas. It also provided nearby access to training for the University of Colorado Ski Team. Having served as the training ground for Olympians and Olympic medalists since its inception in the early 1960s, the mountain has also retained a consistent identity as the friendly neighborhood ski resort for local Boulderites eager to partake in their favorite winter pastimes, whether it be for fitness, for sport or for pure fun.

“We pride ourselves on our no-frills vibe and fitting into the community’s active lifestyle,” Sam says. “We’re close enough that our guests can come to ski or ride a few laps in the morning or afternoon and then have the rest of the day to do whatever else they want or need to do. Our mission is to be that backyard, easy-to-access winter adventure base for Boulder County and the northern Front Range.”

A sense of community is palpable when it comes to Eldora, and not just in the local chatter, the lift regulars or the company’s ardent philanthropic support of its surrounding area. Core values of caring and respect—along with strict adherence to the Responsibility Code of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA)—are the backbone of Eldora’s slope safety efforts.

“Fundamentally, skiing and riding safely is showing respect for yourself and those around you,” Sam says. “As a mindset, it’s the grease that keeps the gears of our skiing and riding community working smoothly and safely—and it’s the mindset our Ski Patrol works to create on the hill every day.”

In addition to a continued focus on the NSAA Responsibility Code, Eldora’s robust slope safety program for the 2021-2022 season is geared toward instilling that safety mindset into guests from the moment they step into their boots.

Led by patrol director Brock, the Eldora team created a new, succinct logo to encapsulate the approach that they hope all skiers and riders will take every time they set foot on the snow. This “How You Ride” graphic appears on hand-out cards, lodge monitors and base-area signage.

Increased safety signage can be found on lift towers and across the slopes themselves. With Eldora’s interactive slope safety program, enforced during on-hill “teaching moments,” guests who are found to be violating the Responsibility Code are required to participate in a safety course in order to earn back their passes.

Additionally, frequent on-snow activations with safety mascots including the resort’s “Safe-T-Rex” and “Safety Penguin” keep skiers and riders reminded of how to keep themselves and their fellow slope enthusiasts safe.

The safety of all snow sports participants—employees, guests and the community—are also paramount to Eldora in light of the persisting effects of the global pandemic. From staff vaccination requirements to adhering to Boulder County health guidance and mandates, Eldora holds safety across the spectrum of the mountain experience in the highest regard.

For more information about Eldora safety guidelines and initiatives, visit

Sidebar: Eldora’s “How You Ride” Initiative

The team at Eldora knows that the last thing anyone wants to do is to hurt themselves or their fellow skiers and riders through reckless behavior. To instill a safety-first mentality, they ask all mountain guests to consider the following:

·      Factors you CANNOT control: conditions, trees and other people.

·      Factors you CAN control: your own speed and behavior.

·      Is your speed and behavior appropriate for the conditions, trees and people around you?

·      Factors you cannot control should influence how you ride on every run.

  • Credit Travis Brock
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