What Some Scammers Will Do to Ski for Free

December 2009

Even with fancy computer printers, it might be difficult to counterfeit, say, money, but ski passes are another thing. At least they used to be. Resort officials, including those in Vail, have increasingly caught on to the scam, using hand-held radio frequency scanners that bring up a photo of the pass holder, Vail Mountain spokeswoman Liz Biebl tells the Vail Daily. The scanners seem to be working. Since January, Vail Police have identified 188 pass-fraud cases---or "deceptive use of ski facilities." At this same time last year, just 82 cases had been filed. Vail isn't the only resort being struck by the scammers. At Keystone, a woman trying to use a man's ski pass told a Summit County Sheriff's deputy she was going to have a sex-change operation. But the woman's story unraveled when a deputy called the pass holder's father, who was "shocked" to learn about the operation. Finally, the deputy called the pass holder, who admitted he gave the pass to his girlfriend, writes The Associated Press. The woman was arrested on charges of theft and criminal impersonation. Crested Butte Mountain Resort, meanwhile, is in the middle of a debate about expansion to Snodgrass Mountain. The U.S. Forest Service, citing environmental issues and community opposition, has halted the project from moving forward, leading the resort to consider legal action, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

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