Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Belleayre to ORDA

 Belleayre's original logo, the left-hand portion of which is the NYSDEC logo

As part of New York State's proposed budget which is expected to be passed this week, control of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount, NY will be transferred from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") to the Olympic Regional Development Authority ("ORDA"). ORDA already operates the state's other two state-owned ski resorts- Whiteface and Gore, both in the Adirondacks.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Hampshire to Lease Cannon Mountain to Ski Operator?

 © 2008 State of NH Department of Resources and Economic Development

Cannon Mountain, NH is one of the best values in skiing. Only 2 hours from Boston the state-owned resort is known for its steeps, but is also one of skiing’s most affordable lift tickets. Tuesdays and Thursdays lift tickets are 2-for-$68. That’s about what you’d pay for lunch at some megaresorts. But things may be about to change...(more after the jump)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ski, Esq. - The Internet's New Ski Law Sensation

Dear Readers of Ski, Esq.,

A quick thank you to everyone who has visited Ski, Esq. in its short existence. I am happy to announce that in just two weeks, we have topped the 1,000 hit mark! Every day more people are finding Ski, Esq. and our unique visitors per day continue to climb. Please continue to spread the word about Ski, Esq. I promise to do my part by continuing to provide interesting and relevant insights into the ski industry. If you ever have a topic that you think would be interesting, please do not hesitate to e-mail me and I'll do my best to respond.

Of course, the law can be pretty dry sometimes. So while most of the stories relate somehow to the law or provide a different perspective by bringing some legal analysis to bear, rest assured I'll keep the content interesting for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

Also, if you're a golfer don't miss our sister site - Tee, Esq. - for similarly insightful reporting on the world of golf and golf law.

Thank you again for visiting!

Very Truly Yours,

David B. Cronheim, Esq.

The Strange Case of Wilmot Mountain

Here at Ski, Esq., we scour the country to bring you interesting ski law news, but rarely have we seen as bizarre a case as the one reported by the The Chicago Tribune yesterday. The Tribune reported on Wilmot Mountain, Inc. v. Lake County Forest Preserve District, where a border dispute between Wisconsin and Illinois just left a Wisconsin ski resort a little bit smaller.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Massive New Glacier Ski Area Approved in B.C.

While Canada is technically outside my jurisdiction, a news story out of British Columbia this morning is too exciting not to mention. Canadian authorities have just approved the master plan for a massive new high alpine ski resort situated on a glacier in the Purcell mountains of Southeast BC - Jumbo Glacier Resort. According to the resort's website, the $900M resort is planned to have 23 lifts including a gondola.  Perhaps most exciting, the summer skiing appears to me more than just a novelty. What's planned is far more than a few turns spread over a few hundred vertical feet. Jumbo's master plan calls for an impressive 2,300 ft. of summer vertical! The resort plans to open by Christmas 2014.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ski, Esq. to Give Interview on Utah's KUER 90.1FM Regarding Park City/Talisker Lawsuit

If you're in the Salt Lake City area, tune in to KUER 90.1 this evening to hear clips of my interview regarding the lawsuit between Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker (owners of the Canyons). Or listen live on the internet at:

More details or a link to the story will be made available if possible after airing. 

5:18 pm UPDATE: Portions of my interview will air between4:30 and 6 pm Mountain time this evening and 6-9 am Mountain time tomorrow (3/20/12).

An American in the Alps

A year ago today I was skiing in the Alps for the first time. Unfortunately, the Alps were having a "winter" then like we are having in North America this year. Temperatures soared and the snowpack, where there was any, was thin at best. The bad snow notwithstanding, it was the ski trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to go back.

If you've never skied in Europe, it's something to add to your bucket list. It's an incredible experience and a very different type of skiing from that which we have here on this side of the pond. As someone I met on the trip put it, "If you want great snow, go out West...if you want a great vacation, go to Europe." I couldn't agree more. Below, a link to my (lengthy) article about that trip to Garmisch, Seefeld, St. Anton, and Lech-ZΓΌrs:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ski Fast...Lose Pass - Ski Drunk...Lose More

It goes without saying that skiing and snowboarding while drunk is dangerous. Heck, skiing while sober is dangerous enough. Yet in a sport where alcohol is almost as much a part of the culture as snow, the warning bears repeating. To realize that the message about skiing and drinking doesn’t always compute, one need look no further than the US Ski Team, where two widely publicized incidents recently highlighted the issue.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Jersey Court Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Mountain Creek

A very interesting decision was handed down yesterday in NJ involving the state's largest ski resort - Mountain Creek. In short, a snowboarder was hurt on the slopes in Jan '09, sued in Oct '09, then bought a season pass for '09-10 in Dec. '09. The season pass agreement contained a broad general release of claims and the court held that the release barred the already-filed claim.

It's pretty interesting because it means if you've been injured at a resort, you more than likely cannot buy a season pass there for the following winter or else you'll waive your claims against the resort (assuming the agreement has a release in it...which a vast majority do).

Links to the Story:

First Tracks Online
The Ski Channel

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chalets with Private Cable Cars

Could there possibly be anything better than renting a chalet with its own cable car?


Anyone with a few million Euros lying around want to go halfsies...(and pay my half)?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quoted in todays edition of First Tracks Online

Check out my quote in today's First Tracks Online:

New York Couple Sues Jackson Hole Ski Rental Shop Over Injury 

The situation presented in the above-linked story is all too common in today's litigious society - someone gets hurt and looks for someone to sue. In my quote I discuss the dim prospects for recovery when suing a ski shop, where that ski shop uses a standard rental agreement containing common disclaimers and waivers.

While you may still not read your rental contract cover to cover (frankly I don't either), it is important at least to realize that you are entering into a very one-sided contract that protects the ski shop at your expense. The waivers and disclaimers contained in these agreements are designed to shift the risk to you and prevent you from successfully suing the shop. 

Personally, I understand that if I get hurt, I can't sue the shop. I'm comfortable with that, so I sign the agreement. If you're not, you can always choose not to rent. However, because I'm taking responsibility for my own safety, I do check the DIN settings to make sure they're set to the setting I prefer and watch the technician as he adjusts the equipment.

If you really want to be diligent, read the contract, cross out anything you find very objectionable and initial next to the cross-outs. Odds are the shop either (1) won't notice (you're not the only one who has to read the contract) or (2) will notice the cross-outs, but still give you the equipment anyway. The cross-outs may or may not be enforceable, but you'll certainly have a stronger argument that what you've crossed out is unenforceable because the shop agreed to the modified contract by what is known as "acceptance by performance."

Friday, March 2, 2012

Renting Your Ski House? Read this first.

Renting your ski property can be a great way to make a dent in the mortgage, association fees, and other bills that inevitably add up over the course of the year. Of course, troublesome tenants can always put a damper on the process. Make sure you take necessary precautions to protect yourself. Remember, a solid lease is your first line of protection. By setting expectations in advance you'll help to deter damaging conduct.

Check out this article for some helpful tips:

As always, feel free to direct any questions to me at

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Welcome to Ski, Esq. This blog is devoted to one ski attorney's perspective on legal issues impacting the ski industry. I am a business law and real estate attorney by trade, but ski publications across the globe regularly ask me to provide them with insight on an array of legal topics affecting the industry. Over the past several years, I have commented upon or written articles dealing with a wide range of topics. From the drafting of ski home rental agreements and  consumer fraud and retailer issues to land use and torts, if it happens in the ski industry, you'll hear about it here.