Sirdenis Name to Ski Safety Board
Mont Ripley Ski Hill Manager Nick Sirdenis was appointed to a four-year term on the Michigan Ski Area Safety Board by Governor Rick Snyder.
It is the second time Sirdenis has been chosen, as he joins the board that oversees "the nation's first and best ski area safety act," Sirdenis says.
"In 1962, the State of Michigan legislated ANSI standards for safety at their ski areas, the first state to do so. They are the most stringent rules in the nation, and the national guidelines are actually based on ours."
Colorado, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and many other states have followed Michigan's lead and have also borrowed heavily from Michigan's standards, Sirdenis adds.
Michigan's ski safety board is another important part of the ski areas' focus on safety.
"The UP always has a nice representation on the board," he says. "It's usually one ski hill operator from up here and one from downstate, with other members from the ski industry: ski shops, Ski Patrol, and, of course, a lawyer."
The board has two regular meetings per year and can be called together if an issue arises, Sirdenis says. The board has survived the governor's shrinking of the number of governmental boards.
"He was surprised to learn that our ski industry wants to have legislative rules, inspectors, and administrators," Sirdenis says. "We had a recent example of a chairlift accident in Wisconsin, and we said we don't want that here." The accident hastened Wisconsin's move to following standards.