Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Media Contact: LARA Communications (517-335-LARA (5272))
February 2, 2021 – Orlene Hawks, the director of the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), reminds Michiganders to take precautions and make safety a top priority before heading out to enjoy some fun on the slopes this ski and snowboard season.
"Whether you are an amateur on the bunny hill or are skilled and experienced on the more challenging hills, please make it a priority to keep safety in mind,” said Hawks. “Safety standards are put in place to help ensure all who enjoy Michigan slopes have a great time and make it home safely.”
Michigan’s winter months bring an opportunity for enthusiasts to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and a handful of other fun activities. LARA oversees the state’s ski safety program which includes oversight of 53 ski areas which encompasses 36 surface lifts,135 chair lifts, and 114 rope tows.
“Know your abilities and those of others in your group,” said Hawks. “Ski or snowboard on trails that are at your skill level and don’t venture off-trail. Going out with a buddy increases the element of safety and assistance if needed. Be aware of your surroundings and potential weather changes. When fatigued, take a break to avoid injury to yourself or others and then hit the slopes again once fully rested.”
Skiers and snowboarders at every ability level are urged to be mindful of a few safety tips to minimize their potential for risk or injury while on the slopes. Safety tips to follow while prepping for the slopes and while on the slopes include:
Michigan's ski lifts are inspected and permitted for operation by LARA to ensure compliance with national standards and the Michigan Ski Area Safety Act of 1962, the first in the nation. LARA staff issues permits to operate, and help ensure safe operation by inspecting ski areas and ski lifts annually, both before and during operation. Michigan law requires that mechanical failures and accidents involving ski lifts be reported.
LARA wishes everyone a safe and fun winter season. For more information, visit LARA's Ski Area Safety website.