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The subject is a tad misleading so let me try and explain as best I can: On the weekends in the winter I work at a mid-sized mountain in the northeast As an employee I help run the grom program; kids ages 9-14 who eventually want to compete in the various USASA events. Erego, we spend a lot of time in the park.

The park itself is on its own little hill with its own lift. You cannot get to it riding from any other part of the mountain (you have to go to the park lift). The problem the mountain has is the park is open to the public. And I mean EVERYONE. There is absolutely nothing preventing mom, dad and little Jimmy from dropping into the couple 40-50 booters we have. Or sitting on the landings. Or traversing across the landings. Or hitting the sides of run-ups to the jibs. Or not calling drops. Get it? Bottom line - I’d say about 40-50% of the people in the park on a regular Saturday have NO idea about basic park etiquette.

This - as you can imagine - has caused problems. We had a few very close calls with tourists last year (and not just my group, the ski freestyle team and various development programs as well). On one occasion an athlete almost had his back broken by an idiot tourist not waiting for the athlete to clear the landing. Another factor in this equation is the set up of the park - there’s an expert side and a beginner side. There’s no middle ground (which is tough, and I’ve touted this before to my boss). So, if an athlete wants to progress from the basic 10- 15- foot jumps, the only option is to charge the 50 footers. Doesn’t make much sense.

What I’m asking from the forum community is how I could even attempt to change this. The good news is I have the ear of our program director, who reports directly to the GM. The bad news is the director doesn’t care much for the snowboard program (or the freestyle program in general). Priorities lie with the race team.

I’ve gone over this in my head a dozen times, the only thing I can think of is to implement a park pass. Even then, I’m not sure how much good it will do. The other issue is park design. I know the park crew but they have a short leash with what they can do.

Any ideas snowboardingforum? Thanks for reading, I know its long.
 

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You have to convince them it's about safety. Someone could literally die. On the flip side though, if the support is not there, they could just get rid of the park. So you should probably bring a little financial info aka, what this side of the business is worth to them.

Tough nut to crack. You'll need to approach it in a logical and sensible manner.
 

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I think the park pass option is the obvious choice here.

Although I have to admit I don't normally ride mountains that require a pass as I rarely ever venture into the park but if I do I certainly don't want to pay extra for it or sit and watch a video first (ahem, Camelback, PA). Not sure how many people feel the same way I do but if it's a common opinion it could hurt your bottom line.
 

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The subject is a tad misleading so let me try and explain as best I can: On the weekends in the winter I work at a mid-sized mountain in the northeast As an employee I help run the grom program; kids ages 9-14 who eventually want to compete in the various USASA events. Erego, we spend a lot of time in the park.

The park itself is on its own little hill with its own lift. You cannot get to it riding from any other part of the mountain (you have to go to the park lift). The problem the mountain has is the park is open to the public. And I mean EVERYONE. There is absolutely nothing preventing mom, dad and little Jimmy from dropping into the couple 40-50 booters we have. Or sitting on the landings. Or traversing across the landings. Or hitting the sides of run-ups to the jibs. Or not calling drops. Get it? Bottom line - I’d say about 40-50% of the people in the park on a regular Saturday have NO idea about basic park etiquette.

This - as you can imagine - has caused problems. We had a few very close calls with tourists last year (and not just my group, the ski freestyle team and various development programs as well). On one occasion an athlete almost had his back broken by an idiot tourist not waiting for the athlete to clear the landing. Another factor in this equation is the set up of the park - there’s an expert side and a beginner side. There’s no middle ground (which is tough, and I’ve touted this before to my boss). So, if an athlete wants to progress from the basic 10- 15- foot jumps, the only option is to charge the 50 footers. Doesn’t make much sense.

What I’m asking from the forum community is how I could even attempt to change this. The good news is I have the ear of our program director, who reports directly to the GM. The bad news is the director doesn’t care much for the snowboard program (or the freestyle program in general). Priorities lie with the race team.

I’ve gone over this in my head a dozen times, the only thing I can think of is to implement a park pass. Even then, I’m not sure how much good it will do. The other issue is park design. I know the park crew but they have a short leash with what they can do.

Any ideas snowboardingforum? Thanks for reading, I know its long.
Welcome to most every other major resort on a weekend. It's horrible at Northstar.

Getting a park pass implemented would be the ideal way to go, but I do hope you realize what an uphill battle that would be.
 

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Moving to the dark side...
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If it is a separate lift something as simple as RULES NOTICES on the way up the drag lift or chairlift depending on what you have there...

With a warning that you will be asked to leave the park should you not follow health and safety rules...

It doesn't matter where in the world you go, they have paid the same as everyone else and it is there RIGHT to annoy others in the park, but the rules and notification that liability is theres should they cause an accident, may help a lot more than you think...
 

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No one will read any sort of posted notices. As much as I hate to suggest it, a park pass might be a good option. I hate watching the videos, but maybe an online video to watch/quiz?

Honestly the best way to get them to do it would be to have them charge a couple extra dollars for the park pass. It would certainly keep the riffraff out.

The best option in my mind is to have 4 rules that the lifty can quiz people over at the bottom. Obviously not everyone, but when someone shows up with their 5 year old on a leash, they would have to recite the 4 rules of the park... make sure landings are clear, call your drop, don't go off sides of rail jumps, don't be a fuckhead... etc....

Having 4 or 5 main rules in BIG writing at the bottom lift could do it, but every informational sign I've ever seen at a mountain is covered in jibberish and in novel format. --> that might be a good way to push things in the right direction. Get a big piece of poster board, write the rules in huge writing, cover in clear packaging tape, and ask your supervisor if it can be hung at the bottom of the lift... just to take initiative and show your boss you really want to make something happen.

I'll add that as an instructor, I've totally felt the anger inside that makes you want to rip some parents a new one, but I always end up holding it back in the beginner park... not sure what the best thing to do is, but I like my job and didn't want to cause any issues while in uniform.
 

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My home hill (Wachusett) requires a park pass, and I suppose it really prevents most of the problems you are complaining about, though you still occasionally get idiots sitting hidden on landings, or snaking you. They charge $5, make you sign a waiver and watch the "smart style" video. Despite the required education, it is not really enforced, but at least it keeps the park free of those who have no business being there. Hardly anyone calls their drops, but at least most people show basic etiquette. I never really thought too much about it until now, but I guess it really is a positive thing.
 

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Reformed Creep-o-saurus
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Yeah I'd maybe do up a proposal/letter outlining a plan of action. Focus on safety as that can have a MASSIVE effect on the bottom line.

1) I like the idea of a LARGE sign at the base of the lift, with "Park Etiquette and Park Rules" posted clearly. Mention that violation may result in immediate removal from the park and/or the resort. Stress to management that park etiquette is designed to allow for safe use of the park by all.

2) Again, the safe way to learn to jump is through progression. I can't stand parks that are all or nothing. If there's a better park at a nearby resort, mention them and say that we may lose business because their park has much safer progression lines. Progression lines make parks safe!

Good luck, your cause is just! :yahoo: :D
 

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You want to make a difference. Carry a fucking gun into the park and fire off a couple rounds. See the reaction then. Otherwise welcome to the problems of every other resort on earth.
 

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Scorching the Slopes
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I go to two resorts on weekends here.
Both have parks.
One has a park pass system.
The other doesn't.

Care to guess at which park I feel safer, and have had no problems with park etiquette from other riders?

I'm not exaggerating.
The park pass system works.

The pass costs $10+tax per season. Very affordable.
If you are applying for the first time, you have to watch the safety video first.
If you are renewing a pass from the previous year you just pay the fee.

Bottom line: a properly run park pass system works for everybody.

Edit: I should add that the park with the pass system also is less crowded than the open access park at the other resort.
The pass system keeps out the marginally interested rider who simply wants to "try" a jump but doesn't want to waste time learning park etiquette.
 

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Land of the Potato
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shit, as much as i thought the park pass system was dumb the first time they tried to impliment it at my mtn, IF ITS ENFORCED it sure would keep the people that dont obviously belong there, out
 

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Unfortunately every resort runs into this problem if the park isn't roped off/pass exclusive. In Whistler it gets so busy at times that you sort of learn how to play dodgeball with other riders snaking you constantly and doing stupid things.

Park pass does work, although not every resort will do that, but honestly just requiring certain other things work just as well too. The Whistler XL park went from pass only to helmet only access + roped off and it still keeps the general public out even though the pass isn't required anymore.

What I'd do if I were you (although your chances are admittedly very slim of anything happening) is record a video explaining the safety issue and liability to the resort, record instances of it happening and the danger it puts people into, then put it online and try to get it going viral by posting it everywhere and send it to every sensationalist local news show because they love to do stories on public danger.

That would probably be your best hope to get something happening.
 

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Even a free park pass like the one required to ride the snowcat at Luv would be a good idea, it simply requires people to stop at the bottom and return to the spot, otherwise they risk getting screamed at. Considering the stupid number of yellow jackets hired to scream at people all the time, it seems like a good idea...

..all that being said ski resorts are little meccas of human attrition, can't stop it, pray its not you getting landed on.

Surving the resort isn't much different than surviving the drive to and from, and the park is tbh only marginally more dangerous. Fucking idiots on the blue runs yo, in the fast lane, on the butter boxes, everywherez dawg!
 

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For the places that require a park pass...are the parks basically roped off? Is there some sort of snow carnie at the top to check your park pass?

I'm just thinking financial. A hill with 5 parks = 5 extra carnies on staff from 9-9 (at least at my hill).

I can see a complete nightmare for office and ticket staff with the sheer amount of tourists who come in to ride, only to find out they need a park pass and possibly to have to sit and watch a video. There would be people coming in and out of the video room constantly. You'd have to have another staff member in that room setting up multiple displays.

Too many of the FIBS that come to our hill in Wisconsin will have no patience for that and things would get escalated in a heartbeat.

I'm not playing devil's advocate here, just trying to figure out how a park pass system works.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The interesting thing here is that the sister mountain to my local hill (under the same ownership) HAS a park pass system, and it does work, from what I can see.

@Derp- yes, for most park pass systems they will rope off the entrance to the park and have a guy checking passes. This person always being there isn’t consistent however. I’ve been to plenty of resorts where park pass systems are pretty arbitrary (not always, but sometimes). I agree with the big sign at the base of the lift as an addition but don’t think it will help much other than to be a thing the resort can point to if a kid’s head gets sawed off by a rogue jumper.

@Jed and @poutanen- I really like your ideas. This is actually kind of in line with what I was thinking. Does anyone in here have any experience with these kind of “proposals”? I’m thinking I might draft one up, pester the director, get the other freestyle coaches on board and try and push it though.

The part that pisses me off is that upper management will address the issue and say how it’s such a shame but will do nothing about it. We’ve gotten plenty of talks saying how we need to follow proper progression methods but it all goes out the window when half the time is spent dodging tourists snaking our runs, chopping up the takeoffs and being general morons.
 

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For the places that require a park pass...are the parks basically roped off? Is there some sort of snow carnie at the top to check your park pass?

I'm just thinking financial. A hill with 5 parks = 5 extra carnies on staff from 9-9 (at least at my hill).

I can see a complete nightmare for office and ticket staff with the sheer amount of tourists who come in to ride, only to find out they need a park pass and possibly to have to sit and watch a video. There would be people coming in and out of the video room constantly. You'd have to have another staff member in that room setting up multiple displays.

Too many of the FIBS that come to our hill in Wisconsin will have no patience for that and things would get escalated in a heartbeat.

I'm not playing devil's advocate here, just trying to figure out how a park pass system works.
Yup, at Wachusett the main park is fenced at the top (snow fence) and flanked by dense trees on the sides. They have a shack at the entrance with staff who check passes. They've actually tried electronic passes a few times but always seem to have problems with the system and go back to just checking. Once you're a regular, they usually recognize you so you don't have to stop to show your pass anymore. At the beginning of the season they do have a room setup in the base lodge to view the video or you can watch it online before hand and just sign saying you did. You have to pay down at the base lodge anyway and they give you a receipt to get your pass from the shack. If you've had a park pass before you don't have to watch the video again. A little inconvenient the first time each season, but not too bad. I noticed this year they are offering a bundle with the season passes that includes the park pass and a couple turns on the airbag as well (usually a separate pass for that). Despite being a smaller place, Wachusett gets big crowds being the closest 4-digit vertical to Boston and has lots of staff accordingly.
 

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Scorching the Slopes
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Yup, at Wachusett the main park is fenced at the top (snow fence) and flanked by dense trees on the sides. They have a shack at the entrance with staff who check passes. They've actually tried electronic passes a few times but always seem to have problems with the system and go back to just checking. Once you're a regular, they usually recognize you so you don't have to stop to show your pass anymore. At the beginning of the season they do have a room setup in the base lodge to view the video or you can watch it online before hand and just sign saying you did. You have to pay down at the base lodge anyway and they give you a receipt to get your pass from the shack. If you've had a park pass before you don't have to watch the video again. A little inconvenient the first time each season, but not too bad. I noticed this year they are offering a bundle with the season passes that includes the park pass and a couple turns on the airbag as well (usually a separate pass for that). Despite being a smaller place, Wachusett gets big crowds being the closest 4-digit vertical to Boston and has lots of staff accordingly.
Ditto.
Blue Mountain in Ontario is the one I mentioned earlier that has a park pass system.
The entire park is roped/treed off. Entrance is at the bottom of the park with 1 person checking passes. Once you're in, there is 1 lift to the top.
Again, this system seems to keep the marginal park-interested person (the ones who won't know any park etiquette or safety) out of the park. I've never had to wait for lines.

The other resort I go to without a pass system? - Sit around, look at a bunch of people with no clue, fear for your life when you get a chance to go.
No thanks.
 

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Reformed Creep-o-saurus
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Blue Mountain in Ontario is the one I mentioned earlier that has a park pass system.
The entire park is roped/treed off. Entrance is at the bottom of the park with 1 person checking passes. Once you're in, there is 1 lift to the top.
Again, this system seems to keep the marginal park-interested person (the ones who won't know any park etiquette or safety) out of the park. I've never had to wait for lines.
I spent many nights in my teens in that park! They never used to have a pass system in the 90's, but at some point in the mid 2000s the implemented the system. I didn't mind the 10 minute video. It was pretty basic but there's nothing wrong with that.

From what I remember, the lifty at the top of the park also checked anybody's pass that was coming in from the top. Or is it all closed off up top now?

I remember them having a pretty damn good 1/2 pipe, a fun 1/4 pipe, and a bunch of little rails, table tops, etc. and then a couple bigger jumps down the bottom.

Comparing two not very comparable resorts in Alberta:

- Lake Louise has a fantastic park, but it is uncontrolled. There's a sign at all entrances, but you still get lots of tourists that shouldn't be in there. It does seem to sort itself out though, as the big lines are completely separated from the smaller stuff.

- Nakiska has a park pass system (just something you get along with your season pass at the beginning of the year, no video, just sign a waiver) and they've got a guy that sits in a hut at the top of the park and checks passes. It is almost always empty in there. Unfortunately the park itself is nowhere near as good, but it is nice to know that people aren't going to be in your landing.
 

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Land of the Potato
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Unfortunately every resort runs into this problem if the park isn't roped off/pass exclusive. In Whistler it gets so busy at times that you sort of learn how to play dodgeball with other riders snaking you constantly and doing stupid things.

Park pass does work, although not every resort will do that, but honestly just requiring certain other things work just as well too. The Whistler XL park went from pass only to helmet only access + roped off and it still keeps the general public out even though the pass isn't required anymore.

What I'd do if I were you (although your chances are admittedly very slim of anything happening) is record a video explaining the safety issue and liability to the resort, record instances of it happening and the danger it puts people into, then put it online and try to get it going viral by posting it everywhere and send it to every sensationalist local news show because they love to do stories on public danger.

That would probably be your best hope to get something happening.
I can't really see making a viral video about how unsafe your employer's park is being a good idea. I would make the video, but ten i would take It to your manager, the ops manager, the park manager an show them
 
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