The Oregon Supreme Court has allowed a $21 million lawsuit against Mt. Bachelor Resort to proceed, overturning two lower court rulings, and saying the liability waiver that Myles Bagley signed when he purchased his season pass is unenforceable, according to a story in the Bend Bulletin.
The court’s opinion is that the resort’s release is offered on a “take-it-or-leave-it basis” and that doesn’t mean the resort is free from any liability resulting in conditions the resort created, according to the story.
“As Mt. Bachelor is open to the general public largely without restriction, and visitors subject themselves to the risk of harm from conditions created by the resort operators, the safety of resort visitors “is a matter of broad societal concern,” the opinion stated. . . . The court found there are “inherent risks” to skiing and snowboarding but those risks do not justify insulating ski area operators from all liability.. . . Skiers and snowboarders have important legal inducements to exercise reasonable care for their own safety by virtue of their statutory assumption of the inherent risks of skiing,” read the opinion. “By contrast, without potential liability for their own negligence, ski area operators would lack a commensurate legal incentive to avoid creating unreasonable risks of harm to their business invitees.”
Bailey was paralyzed from the waist down after breaking two vertebrae while snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor in February of 2006, according to The Bulletin. Obviously, this new court opinion could open the doors for all manner of injury lawsuits against resorts, and we will be following it with interest. Compared to the tight “no-jump” policies of the 1980, resorts have had freedom to create bigger and bigger features in their snowboard parks over the last decade. It seemed only a matter of time before someone blamed the builders of the jump for the injuries of a jumper. For the rest of the story, please click the link.
[Link: Bend Bulletin]
We’re seriously hoping this isn’t some harbinger of the kind of winter we’re going to have in North America this season, but Copper Mountain just pushed their scheduled opening from October 31 until November 7, 2014 thanks to what they are calling “unusually warm temperatures.”
Unusually warm temperatures have limited snow making production causing the inability to create a top-to-bottom skiing and riding experience for our planned opening day. With the forecast looking favorable, Copper Mountain’s Resort Leadership is confident the snow making team can create a quality surface for opening on Friday, Nov. 7. Top-to-bottom skiing will be open on Ptarmigan via Excelerator lift as well as on Rhapsody and Main Vein via American Eagle lift. Easy Rider will also be open for beginner terrain . . . “Mother Nature is starting to release her hold on winter and we will have a great start to the 2014/15 season,” said Gary Rodgers, President and General Manager of Copper Mountain. “Delaying Opening Day was a hard decision to make, but the quality of our snow surface and the experiences of our guests are most important.”
Let’s hope this is just a localized event. Right? For the official word from Copper, follow the jump. [click to continue…]
The Wyoming Office of Tourism has just signed Jackson Hole’s own Travis Rice to be the official “voice of winter” for the state of Wyoming.
For those wanting to get up close and personal with Rice, Wyoming is giving fans a chance to ski or ride with Rice . . . Additional contest winners will receive a Wyoming branded, Rice designed, custom Lib Tech snowboard. Follow the conversation about the sweepstakes with the #RoamwithRice or enter the sweepstakes at: http://winter.wyomingtourism.org/sweepstakes/.
If you win you’ll get lots of goodies from Lib Tech and a full two hours trying to keep up with Mr. Rice at Jackson Hole. Good luck with that one. Click the link if you’re feel in’ lucky. . . well, are ya punk?
[Link: Wyoming Tourism]
Utah snow resort consolidation continues with news that Deer Valley Resort has “entered into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort” and will start running the place on May 1, 2015.
“The DeSeelhorst family has enjoyed being a part of Solitude’s history for almost 40 years. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish at the resort and in our mountain community,” said Dave DeSeelhorst, owner and general manager of Solitude Mountain Resort. “We feel very fortunate for the opportunity to have worked with so many amazing people in our industry and most importantly being able to work with our incredible staff at Solitude over the years. It is exciting to pass on this unique and beautiful resort to one of the best resort operators in the country, Deer Valley.”
Will snowboarding be outlawed? Will Deer Valley bring in their butt wiping valets and nose powdering pamperers with them to Solitude? Will lift ticket prices sky rocket? Will the One Utah lift system finally bring Deer Valley and Big Cottonwood Canyon together? For answers to all these questions — and more– follow the jump. [click to continue…]
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson has reportedly dismissed a Utah lawsuit brought by snowboards (Wasatch Equality) that claimed they have been discriminated against at Alta Ski Resort, according to a story in the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Benson wrote in a 30-page opinion that federal court was not the right arena for the snowboarders to argue they should be allowed on the Utah resort’s famed runs such as Baldy Chutes. . . “There are many forums plaintiffs can resort to in an attempt to accomplish their goal of snowboarding down the Baldy Chutes at Alta,” Benson wrote in his decision. “Seeking an injunction from this court is not one of them.”
Seems like a nice way for the judge to get out of making a decision, doesn’t it? The attorney who filed the lawsuit, Jon Schofield, say he and his clients are evaluating a possible appeal.
[Link: SLC Tribune]
For years Mammoth Mountain has been Southern California’s favorite winter resort (even though it is technically in Northern California). Now, with Mammoth’s just announced purchase of Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Mammoth Mountain owns Southern California winters for real with four resorts total: Mammoth, June, Bear Mountain, and Snow Summit. And, yes, all of them will be grouped into one Cali4nia season pass for only $689 for adults.
“We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this agreement with Big Bear Mountain Resorts. These two uniquely southern California resorts have been providing great skiing, riding and biking experiences to visitors from California and beyond. Millions have enjoyed their first mountain resort experience on the slopes of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, and we look forward to expanding upon the legacy that Dick Kun and his people have created over the past six decades,” said Rusty Gregory, Chairman and CEO of Mammoth Mountain. “This acquisition represents the beginning of a renaissance for both Mammoth and Big Bear and is the first step in the next era of skiing and riding in California. In the coming months we will be announcing exciting new development and expansion plans for each of our four resorts designed to attract visitors from down the street, across the country, and around the world.”
For people in Southern California this is the best season pass ever. Makes us almost feel sorry for Mountain High. For the official word from Mammoth, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]
Powdr Corp. appears to have thrown in the towel in its long running legal battle with Talisker and Vail Resorts by finally deciding to sell Park City Mountain Resort to Vail for $183 million according to a story in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Vail will get the terrain owned by PCMR along with the base facilities—the parking, lift ticket offices, and other parts required for a functioning ski resort. The base also has zoning approval for almost 700,000 square feet of residential and commercial development.
Not only that, but Vail is planning to hook Park City up with Canyons to make the “largest single ski resort in the U.S., with 7,000 skiable acres.” But don’t worry for Powdr Corp just yet. They still own Copper, Killington, Mt. Bachelor, Boreal, Pico, Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, Gorgoza Park, Soda Springs, and of course, Woodward Camps. It will likely be a little while longer before Vail gets there hands on all those.
Oh, and the good news for Vail Epic pass holders is that Park City is now included on your long list of resort options. For the official word from Vail, follow the jump. [click to continue…]
Our friends at Yobeat.com (who apparently still follow the snowboarding resort business world) pointed out this morning that a judge in the Park City vs. Talisker legal battle has decided that Park City must post a bond of $17.5 million by September 12, 2014 if it expects to operate the lifts on Talisker’s land this winter. Will they pay? A $17.5 million bond is chump change compared to how far the real estate value on all those slope side condos will fall when there are no slopes (or lifts) to be on the side of.
[Link: Yobeat.com and Salt Lake City Tribune]
Skullcandy founder Rick Alden explains the Alta situation quite succinctly in this edit. But here’s a little more:
Wasatch Equality began as a grassroots movement of individuals, families, and businesses committed to ending the anti-snowboarding policies at Alta Ski Area that have defined the resort since the early 1980’s. Long after the rest of the winter community has come to recognize snowboarding, it’s hard to believe there’s still an argument being made against the sport. . . By convincing Utah’s hold-out resorts to open their lifts to everyone, friends and families will be able to exercise their legal right to enjoy public land, regardless of how they choose to get downhill.
If you’d like to help Wasatch Equality in their efforts to open Alta Ski Resort to snowboarding, please click here to donate.
[Link: Wasatch Equality]
A federal court has ordered the Dew Tour to pay Mount Snow Resort more than $2 million dollars after the tour allegedly jumped out of a contract and moved the event to Killington, according to a story in the Battleboro Reformer.
In its verdict, the jury concluded that The Alliance of Action Sports, NBC Universal Media and NBC Sports Ventures breached their contract agreement with Mount Snow when it moved the 2010 tour stop from the Dover ski resort to Killington. . . In January 2012, Mount Snow filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, claiming the defendants had breached the contract, costing Mount Snow more than $3 million in damages related to the media value of hosting the tour stop.
Nice to see someone win one against the “flame retardant, mouse dissolving, caffeinated, carbonated high fructose corn syrup” tour isn’t it? Wonder if Mt. Snow will ever get their money?
[Link: Battleboro Reformer via Jeff Greenwood]