May 3, 2021 - News

At least 11 people have died at Colorado ski resorts this season

A skier heads down a run at Keystone ski resort. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

At least 11 skiers and snowboarders died at Colorado ski areas so far this season — a detail the resorts don't want to make public.

Why it matters: The sports' safety is getting renewed attention, but the lack of transparency at private resorts on public lands is plaguing the effort.

  • The 26 ski areas in Colorado are not required to share details about fatalities, and operators released less information this year than normal.
  • The death tally came from the Colorado Sun, which contacted coroners in 16 counties.
  • Colorado data shows that ski resorts resulted in 8,000 emergency room visits, about 55 per day, in 2019, the Vail Daily News reported.

What's happening: A bill at the state Capitol this year sought to require ski areas to publish injury data and plans about how they address safety on the slopes. But the powerful industry quashed the effort.

  • "We heard that the data might give them a black eye that is undeserved," Sen. Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge) said at the hearing. "So it kind of makes me wonder: What is it that they’re hiding?"

The other side: The leaders at Vail Resorts and Aspen Skiing called the injury reporting burdensome and distracting administrative work that takes patrollers away from their primary job of safety.


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