Thursday, May 31, 2012

May's Top Stories

As we turn the calendar to June, a reader suggested that it might be interesting to put together a snapshot of the most popular stories from the past month on Ski, Esq. so that they could catch up on anything they might have missed. I'll try to do the same for each month as a sort of "month in review," bearing in mind that there is a slight bias towards stories published earlier in the month.

Top 5 Stories on Ski, Esq. by Pageviews:
  
 May 9, 2012
May 17, 2012

Honorable Mention:
May 14, 2012
**A version of this story was published on FirstTracksOnline where it received over 2,000 hits in the first 24 hrs!**







Greenbrier Offers to Acquire Wintergreen Resort




May has been a busy month for ski/golf resort mergers. Just last week, Ginn Resorts sold its interest in Burke Mountain to nearby Jay Peak. Now numerous media sources are reporting that billionaire James C. Justice II, owner of the nearby Greenbrier resort, has offered to purchase Virginia's Wintergreen ski and golf resort.Justice told the Charleston, W.Va., Gazette on Friday that the deal was valued between $12.5 million and $16.5 million.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Michigan Appellate Court Sides with Boyne Resorts

Boyne Mountain, MI (photo credit: Boyne USA, Inc.)
The Associated Press is reporting that a Michigan appellate court has sided with Boyne Resorts in a tort lawsuit filed by a skier who sustained injuries from a fall in a halfpipe at the company's Boyne Mountain resort. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jay Peak Acquires Burke Mountain

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The Ski Channel is reporting that the owners of Jay Peak have purchased Burke Mountain. The purchase unites two of Vermont's northernmost resorts under the common ownership of a group headed by Bill Stenger. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but if the terms become public Ski, Esq. will analyze the deal in detail.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mammoth Mountain and Valle Nevado Conclude Agreement

Photo Credit: Valle Nevado

The Ski Channel has published a report that California's Mammoth Mountain and Chile's Valle Nevado resort have concluded an agreement granting certain privileges to each's season passholders.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Buying and Selling Ski Gear

 1961 Elk Mountain Double Chair


This past month I finally bought something I had always wanted - a chairlift. For years I had bandied about the idea of buying one to put in my basement. That is if I actually had a basement...But when I saw a chairlift from Elk Mountain, where I first learned to ski on a snowy day-after-Christmas some years ago, I decided it was time to pull the trigger.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

UPDATE: Park City/Talisker Lawsuit

photo credit: PCMR
 
It appears that reports that Park City Mountain Resort and Talisiker (owner of the nearby Canyons resort) were close to settling a lease dispute may be premature. Many readers may recall that back in March Ski, Esq. discussed in several media outlets the lawsuit in which PCMR resort alleges that although it did not enter into a formal lease extension for tracts of land owned by Talisker and on which PCMR operates, the parties’ actions demonstrate that PCMR exercised its right to extend the leases until 2051. 

In the last week, PCMR has filed 2 new sets of motions. Details after the jump.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Planning Commission Approves Snowbird Mountain Coaster

Snowbird's Famous Tram (photo credit: Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort)
The Ski Channel is reporting today that the Salt Lake County Planning Commission has approved the construction of a new 3,100' mountain coaster at Snowbird (UT). Construction on the coaster is expected to begin this fall or Spring 2013.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

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Entire Czech Chairlift Stolen

 Desna trail map (chairlift in center)

The Ski Channel is reporting today that an entire chairlift has been stolen from the tiny Czech town of Desna, near Prague. Of course, the first question is "how?" More details after the jump.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fatal In-Bounds Avalanche at Winter Park Prompts Lawsuit

CAIC photo of the January 22, 2012 avalanche


According to a report by CBS 4 News in Denver, the family of a man killed in an in-bounds avalanche at Winter Park (CO) has filed suit against the resort.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ski, Esq. Quoted in the Newark Star Ledger

Ski, Esq. was quoted on the back page of the New Jersey section of the Newark Star Ledger in an article entitled "Steamed-up New Jersey Ski Resort Sues Insurer Over Temperature Dispute," an article discussing the Mountain Creek weather insurance lawsuit story first broken by Ski, Esq. last Friday.

"The issue here is that looking at it from a contract-drafting perspective, when push came to shove, neither one wanted to go with a system that was entirely in control of the other," said David Cronheim, an attorney at Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, in Bridgewater, and author of ski law blog Ski, Esq. 

The full story can be found online here.

Utah's Wolf Creek Ski Resort for Sale

Wolf Mountain (photo credit: Wolf Mountain, LLC)

Ever wanted to own your own ski resort? Now could be your chance. Utah's Wolf Creek ski resort (Wolf Mountain) is up for auction along with the resort's golf course and a large chunk of developable real property.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hot Dog Lawsuit Against Aspen Skiing Co. to Proceed

Irony? A screenshot of Aspen's homepage showing a hotdog-costumed pond skimmer


The Aspen Daily News is reporting that Pitkin County District Court Judge Denise Lynch has ruled that a negligence lawsuit against Aspen Skiing Co. can proceed. The source of Aspen's potential liability? A hot dog.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Arizona Snowbowl Seeks Attorneys' Fees in Snowmaking Dispute

 A late April 2012 snowstorm at Arizona Snowbowl (photo credit: Arizona Snowbowl)

Arizona's KTAR Radio is reporting that Arizona Snowbowl has filed a motion to recover $270,000 in attorneys' fees after winning its legal battle with Native American tribes over the use of reclaimed water for snowmaking. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mountain Creek Sues to Recover Under Weather Insurance Policy

Early season snowmaking at Mountain Creek (photo credit: Mountain Creek)

In an apparent case of first impression nationwide, Mountain Creek Resort, Inc. has sued its insurance carrier, Everest Indemnity Insurance Company, in an attempt to force the insurer to pay a claim under a weather insurance policy underwritten by the company. Although this lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind anywhere in the United States, the lack of case law is hardly surprising given the way in which weather insurance policies for ski resorts are drafted. In essence, weather insurance is business interruption insurance with a twist. It is designed to protect a ski resort against weather so bad that it would almost certainly prevent the resort from opening in time for the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately for skiers across the country, that was exactly the type of unprecedentedly warm “winter” weather that hit much of the country last December.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wintergreen Settles Conservation Easement Dispute

 UVA ski racer at Wintergreen

Several sources are reporting that Virginia's troubled Wintergreen ski area has settled a dispute with the Virginia Department of Taxation. The resort has been rumored to be undergoing a "strategic reorganization." The full story after the jump.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Expectedly Disappointing 2011-2012 Ski Numbers Released

 No natural snow in sight at Belleayre (NY) in early January '12

On Monday, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) released its annual report of US skier visits. The numbers weren't pretty.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Preparations Underway for Uranium Milling Near Telluride



In what may well give a whole new meaning to the term "Alpenglow," researchers are taking samples of the dust in southwest Colorado, according to an article published by the Denver Post. According to the Post, researchers are measuring the levels of radioactivity in dust in San Miguel County (home to the ski resort town of Telluride) in advance of the opening of a uranium milling plant in the county.