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Breckenridge: Police to crack down on ‘tourist harrassment’

Law enforcement officers will patrol the slopes of Breckenridge April 1 to discourage harrassment of tourists.

‘Zero tolerance’ on April 1 for illegal and disrespectful behavior

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Breckenridge Police Department says it will help the ski resort crack down on April 1 “Gaper Day” shenanigans, an occasion when some people have made fun of visiting tourists.

While the practice has sometimes been dismissed as harmless late-season fun, the harassment has sometimes turned mean-spirited, prompting concern among tourism officials.

“April 1 has been a busy day for us the past four to six years,” said Breckenridge Police Department spokesperson Kim Green. “The ski area has been asking for our involvement.”

In the past few years, Green said police officers have issued citations for violations of open container laws, as well as cannabis infractions. Asked about harassment of tourists, Green cited incidents of locals being rude and verbally abusive to visitors, for example skiing too close and spraying them with snow.

In a press release, the police department said it will be out in full force, showing its commitment to maintaining a high quality work environment and guest experience free of harassment.

From the release:

“April 1 is not an excuse for disrespectful and abusive behavior or offensive language or dress. The police department would like to remind patrons of the mountain that bringing alcohol and/or marijuana onto the ski area property, including ski lifts, is illegal. There will be a zero tolerance policy on April 1 for illegal and disrespectful behavior. Anyone asked to surrender a pass on this day due to their actions, will be subject to loss of skiing privileges.”

Any questions concerning April 1 skiing can be directed to the Breckenridge Police Department at (970) 453-2941 or the Breckenridge Ski Area at (970) 453-5000.

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