Vernon Mountain Creek has earned the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Safety Award for “Best Terrain Park Safety Program.” The NSAA Safety Awards are given out annually to resorts that have done an outstanding job of educating employees and guests about skiing and snowboarding responsibly. Mountain Creek’s terrain park safety initiatives include: requirement of all park visitors to complete a park pass safety program and quiz, an extensive educational signage program, dedicated learn-to freestyle terrain and instruction, constant terrain and feature monitoring and a strict helmet policy for all employees and guests taking freestyle lessons. “This one means a lot to us, said Hugh Reynolds, Mountain Creek’s marketing and sales manager. “We’ve been recognized in the past for our features and terrain park designs, but this is the first time that we’ve been recognized for all the hard work we put into introducing and educating our guests on the proper and safe use of our parks. It’s nice to be recognized as an industry leader in safety. It validates everything that we’ve been doing here with our parks.” Mountain Creek and other safety award winners will be highlighted in the August edition of the NSAA Quarterly Journal. Additionally, Joe Hession, Mountain Creek’s new vice president and general manager, was honored. He was one of four industry professionals honored with a Ski Area Management SAMMY Leadership Award. Officials said SAMMYs are one of the highest honors to be earned within the snow resort business and are awarded “to those individuals who exhibit extraordinary leadership qualities as nominated by their peers.” When asked why he nominated Hession, Frank DeBerry, former president of Mountain Creek and current president of Snowshoe Mountain, said: “I’ve worked with Joe for nearly 20 years, from his teen years as a rental tech to his current role as GM of Mountain Creek, Joe has consistently proven to be one of the most passionate, innovative and inspiring people I have ever met in the business.” The award winners were announced at the NSAA National Convention in Carlsbad, Calif. earlier this month.