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LOCAL HERO: Kathy Woolwine

BOULDER’S KATHY WOOLWINE spent years in hospitality at The Ritz-Carlton, the Fairmont, and the Four Seasons hotels before joining the Eldora Mountain Resort Mountain Safety Team (MST) in 2019. Then in 2021, she became the group’s supervisor, leading 20 employees dedicated—no surprise here—to on-mountain safety and hospitality. The 14-year Colorado resident and mother of two adult sons, Woolwine is laser-focused on enhancing the guest experience at the 680-acre, 61-year-old ski area 21 miles west of Boulder.

The MST begins training in October and continues for the entire season, learning how to make skiing and riding safer and more enjoyable. The team’s distinctive yellow vests can be spotted resortwide, at trail intersections, slow zones, and outside base lodges—a larger presence in recent years than ever before.

“We’re all out there to enjoy ourselves in this incredible lifestyle and it comes with each guest being responsible skiers or riders,” she says.

STEEP is a guiding principle—aka Safety, Thrill the Guest, Educate, Enforcement, and Patrol Assistance—and members of the team are often first on the scene of an accident. Woolwine is particularly proud of the Safe-T-Rex program aimed at the resort’s Eldorables (ages 4–6) and Trek (ages 7–14) programs. Eldora instructors serve as frontline safety educators; from time to time, MST employees can be seen skiing in a T-Rex dinosaur costume.

“Any opportunity we have to interact with our guests is a great chance to introduce the sport and Eldora as a super-local, friendly, family mountain. Your speed and behavior needs to reflect the terrain conditions, the weather, and the people around you. We try to make it fun to stay in control,” she says.

—Jeff Blumenfeld

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