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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Expect more I-70 traffic in early February

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is advising drivers to anticipate heavier than usual traffic on the Interstate 70 corridor during the first half of February, for the Alpine World Ski Championships (AWSC) in Vail and Beaver Creek.

More than 125,000 people are expected to attend the two-week event, taking place from Monday, Feb. 2, to Sunday, Feb. 15. To assist motorists, current information regarding road and weather conditions and traffic delays will be on CDOT’s website  The site also provides users with access to all of the traffic cameras and electronic message signs along the corridor.

Real-time information related to highway impacts is available by signing up for CDOT’s email and text alerts.  It can be accessed at and then clicking on the envelope at the bottom right of the front page, labeled as Email List Signup and selecting I-70 West Denver to Glenwood Springs.  In addition to the website, information also will be available by calling 511. Following CDOT on Twitter @coloradodot and on Facebook also provides current updates. Read more...

CDOT Communications Contacts
Bob Wilson, 303-757-9431
Tracy Trulove, 970-366-2502

Friday, January 30, 2015

New online lost and found system in Vail

A new online retrieval system for lost and found items in Vail is being launched concurrently by the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts. The new system is supported by Chargerback, an online database that matches lost and found items and ships the property back to their owners if the item isn’t immediately recovered on site. Vail’s new service is available at and

Lost property is currently stored in two locations in Vail. The Vail Police Department Records Office is the central repository for items that have been recovered from the buses, in the parking structures and other areas of town. Items found on Vail Mountain are brought to the Mountain Information Center in Lionshead. The new online system will enable items from both storage areas to be entered into databases that will assist in matching the lost items with reporting parties.
The system will be in use during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and builds upon other technology-driven guest service enhancements initiated by the town and Vail Resorts, including free Wi-Fi throughout the villages and on Gondola One as well as improved cellular service.

To add additional convenience for guests during the World Championships, satellite lost and found collection areas will be located at the medical/information tents at Vail’s Championships Plaza at Solaris in Vail Village as well as the ski racing venues at Red Tail Stadium in Beaver Creek and the Golden Peak Stadium in Vail.
Lost and found services at the Vail Police Department are available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The phone number is 970-479-2208.

The Mountain Information Center, which handles items recovered from Vail Mountain, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is 970-754-3059.
Contact: Suzanne Silverthorn,, 970-748-5908
Lead Public Information Officer, Public Safety Command
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Organizers of Alpine World Ski Championships promote awareness of event security bag policy

A campaign to create local awareness of the bag screening measures that will be in place during the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, Feb. 2-15, is being launched this week to help reduce congestion at the event venues.

Addressing a 2015 kick off rally Wednesday sponsored by Vail Chamber and Business Association and the Vail Valley Partnership, Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger, who chairs the event’s Safety and Security Committee, explained the security bag policy and asked spectators to review the bag check information in order to plan accordingly.

Spectators at the December Audi Birds of Prey move through bag check.
Spectators will be limited to one bag per person. The bag must be smaller than 9 x 10 x 17” or 22 x 25 x 43 cm. and may contain items such as cameras, mobile devices, binoculars, cowbells, water bottles and snacks. Clothing and blankets are allowed if carried by hand.
During the World Championships, all bags will be searched at the entrances to designated venues, including Red Tail Stadium in Beaver Creek,
Apr├Ęs Avon, Championships Plaza at Solaris in Vail Village and Golden Peak Stadium in Vail.
For safety reasons, the following items will be banned: illegal drugs, weapons, knives with blades over 3.5 inches, glass bottles, alcohol, umbrellas and air horns. Marijuana consumption is prohibited at the venues and will be strictly enforced.

Informational fliers are available for distribution throughout the community by calling the Vail Police Department at 970-479-2100 or by download at
Chief Henninger also is asking community members to be alert and to report suspicious activity during the event as part of the “If you See Something Say Something” campaign.
For event details, visit
Contact: Suzanne Silverthorn,, 970-748-5908
Lead Public Information Officer, Public Safety Command
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships

Text to 9-1-1 coming to Eagle County

Text to 9-1-1 will become available in Eagle County by the end of January 2015, according to an announcement today by the Vail Public Safety Communications Center. The new service is free and will enable residents and guests to text directly to 9-1-1 from their cellular phones. Eagle County will join Pitkin and Larimer Counties as the only counties in Colorado currently providing Text to 9-1-1 service. Text to 9-1-1 will be accessible through the four major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.
If service is not yet possible for a particular carrier, a bounce-back message will be sent stating that the service is not available and to please make a voice call.

Text to 9-1-1 is a useful resource, but it is not always the best tool. A voice call is the preferred method. However, if it is unsafe or not possible to make a voice call, then using Text to 9-1-1 is recommended as an alternative. When Texting to 9-1-1, please avoid abbreviations. The most important information to include when contacting 9-1-1, by any method, is the location of the emergency. If necessary, translation for texts in Spanish will occur through an online translation service.
For more information, contact Jennifer Kirkland at Vail Public Safety Communications Center at 970-477-3413 or email

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Behind the scenes of the Alpine World Ski Championships: How safety and security measures will impact you

  • Security bag checks will be in place at event venues
  • Six community legacy projects for enhanced public safety
  • Expect a safe and professional event in an uncompromised and enjoyable experience

  • The Opening Ceremony of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on Monday, Feb. 2 at Solaris’ Championship Plaza in Vail will mark more than three years of planning by members of the event’s Safety and Security Committee, chaired by Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger. The Safety and Security Committee is one of 21 operational groups that have been tasked by the Local Organizing Committee to help coordinate the large-scale event which will attract an estimated 150,000 spectators over the course of the two weeks. The security staffing will involve the coordination of more than 700 credentialed emergency responders from local, state and federal agencies.

    2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Safety and Security Team
    Drawing upon his experiences at the Winter Olympics in 2002 and 2010, a presence at past Ski World Championships and his national response role on wildfires in the West and Hurricane Katrina, Chief Henninger has been incorporating lessons learned into his years of security planning. This includes the Boston Marathon bombing which has become a game-changer for sporting events across the U.S. and has necessitated the implementation of precautionary security bag checks that will be taking place at Championships’ venues in Vail and Beaver Creek.

    Chief Henninger says that while there will be as many as 200 emergency personnel from law enforcement, fire, EMS and other disciplines available to respond on any given day, the goal of the planning effort is to be nearly invisible to the public. “If we’re successful, the public should never know that this committee existed,” says Henninger. The goal is to deliver a safe and professional event and an uncompromised and enjoyable experience. “This means the right people are in the right places so they may anticipate problems, respond effectively, adapt to every situation and recover from an incident, if needed,” he says. The coordination includes a completely integrated incident command system, a seamless communications system and effective public safety relationships that have been developed during previous training exercises in preparation for the Championships.

    All the while, Chief Henninger has assured local community members that routine calls for service won’t change during the event. “We’ll have full staffing to meet our normal day-to-day call load responsibilities,” says Henninger. This is because the event is being supported by public safety representatives from more than 20 local, regional, state and federal agencies. Security staffing/overtime costs are being covered by the respective budgets of local, regional, state and federal agencies.

    One of the most significant community benefits resulting from the work of the Safety & Security Committee will live on in six legacy projects that will have a lasting impact throughout the region. Chief Henninger identifies the six benefits as: 1) upgrades to the public safety radio system in Eagle County for increased capacity; 2) improvements to the Eagle County Emergency Operations Center which will continue to provide a venue for incident coordination and support after the event; 3) institutionalization of the  Incident Command System (ICS) protocols throughout Eagle County for improved multi-agency response coordination; 4) completion of a video camera system in Vail’s public areas to include 23 security cameras in Vail Village and Lionshead; 5) enhancement of the Event Command Post in the Vail Police Department with the addition of eight video monitors that will be used for ongoing high-profile events and large-scale emergencies; 6) creation of a new communications tool,, which provides a single outlet for distribution of real-time emergency and public information updates from agencies throughout Eagle County.

    The presence of public safety officials will be most noticeable at event venue areas during the Championships. This will include the Red Tail Finish Stadium in Beaver Creek, Championships Plaza at Solaris in Vail Village and the Golden Peak Stadium in Vail at the bottom of the Riva Bahn Gondola (Chair 6). The bag checkpoint stations will be located at the venue entries and will be used to search all bags prior to entry into the secured areas. Bags must be smaller than 9” x 10” x 17” and may contain items such as cameras, mobile devices, binoculars, cowbells, water bottles, snacks, etc. Clothing and blankets are also permissible if carried by hand. For safety reasons prohibited items include illegal drugs, weapons, knives with blades over 3.5 inches, glass bottles, alcohol, umbrellas and air horns. Narcotics and drug paraphernalia will be confiscated on site and the person in possession will be subject to arrest. Marijuana consumption is prohibited at the venues and will be strictly enforced. A flier with details on the bag check screening will be available at many lodges throughout the valley as well as the Welcome Centers in Vail Village and Lionshead. The flier may be downloaded online at

    Chief Henninger says a critical component of the safety and security communications effort will be to create widespread awareness about the bag check policy. Also, awareness regarding unattended packages will also be critical. If members of the public see a bag or package left unattended, they will be asked not to touch or move the item, to alert the nearest security or police officer or to call 911 in case of an emergency.

    Public safety messages during the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships will be communicated via EC Alert ( and This will include any emergency information as well as daily tips and safety announcements such as staying hydrated, preventing frostbite, use of sunscreen, safe tire tread, etc.

    Participating agencies involved in the safety and security response for the Alpine World Ski Championships include the following:

    Local/Regional Agencies
    • Vail Police Department
    • Vail Fire Department
    • Town of Vail Public Works and Transportation
    • Avon Police Department
    • Eagle River Fire Protection District
    • Vail Resorts - Vail and Beaver Creek
    • Eagle County Sheriff’s Office
    • Eagle County Public Health
    • Eagle County Paramedic Services
    • Eagle County Office of Emergency Management and County Attorney
    • Vail Public Safety Communications Center
    • Vail Valley Foundation
    • Lone Star Security
    • Greater Eagle Fire Protection District
    • Gypsum Fire Department
    • Copper Mountain Consolidated Metropolitan District
    • Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
    • Grand Junction Police and Fire Departments
    • 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
    State Agencies
    • Colorado State Patrol
    • Colorado State Office of  Homeland Security and Emergency Management
    • Colorado Department of Transportation
    • Colorado Information Analysis Center
    Federal Agencies
    • FEMA
    • FBI
    • US Forest Service
    • Transportation Security Administration
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Secret Service
    For more information, contact Joint Information Center Lead Public Information Officer Suzanne Silverthorn at 970-748-5908 or

    Note: To arrange for an interview with Chief Dwight Henninger, Chair of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Safety and Security Committee, contact Suzanne Silverthorn at the number listed above.