Behind the Scenes of the Ski Area Operators and Coordinating with Governments - the Legal Perspective

I was able to participate in a CLE for lawyers and law students regarding the legal and operational issues surrounding how to safely and responsibly open for skiing. Alan Henceroth was one of the panel members along with other legal and operational people from around the industry. Below are some of the high points. I know that some of this is repeated from other threads but thought I'd add it here.
  • There are weekly calls with operators, health officials, government officials, and other community members and there have been since March.
  • Legally it's questionable whether contracting COVID from skiing would be considered an inherent safety risk under skier safety risks but most, if not all, have added language to their waivers to protect themselves from liability should it happen.
  • They've worked on things like upgrading fixtures to make them touchless, avoiding the need to congregate in certain areas.
  • Aspen bought millions of $ worth of tents to add capacity but with some of Colorado counties going to a red level those may be considered indoor dining which wouldn't be acceptable. They are trying to figure out if there is a way to open them up to make them qualify as outdoor dining.
  • Vermont is a problem.
  • Contact tracing should an outbreak occur is challenging.
  • Training employees is challenging. Abasin really went barebones as far as employees but that may cause issues as we go through the season. Other areas need more staff even though they have less revenue because they can't have people doing multiple things among different groups of employees.
  • Capacity is complicated due to many factors including weather, type of skier (destination, family, single, etc.,) and other matters. It's hard to understand when people stop skiing. For example, they can't tell whether someone has stopped scanning at a lift because they are having a long lunch or they've gone home. This is especially problematic when the skier is lodging at the mountain so not emptying a parking space.
Ending message: "Don't be the reason to end the season!"

Thanks to the Colorado Bar Association for hosting the session!