Alta defends snowboard ban again

29th June 2015, by Abi Butcher

Alta Ski Area in Utah is back in court defending its snowboard ban

Alta Ski Area in Utah is back in court defending its snowboard ban

A ski resort in the USA has returned to court to defend its policy of banning snowboarders from its slopes.

Alta Ski Area in Utah appeared at a federal appeals court in Salt Lake City last Friday, 26 June, to argue the case for its “business decision” of keeping snowboarders out.

According to the press agency AP, Alta claims skiers find the area more “peaceful and safer because they don’t have to worry about being hit by snowboarders whose sideways stance leaves them with a blind spot that can make their wide, sweeping turns a danger to others”.

The cult powder resort has “phenomenal snow and steep terrain” according to Where to Ski and Snowboard 2015, and with its link to nearby Snowbird helps to form one of the largest ski areas in the US. In the book, Editors Watts and Gill say the two are the “powder capitals of the world”, but privately owned Alta has a “friendlier, more personal feel” than Snowbird”.

The court case has been rumbling on for some time, with Alta’s lawyers argue that there is no “right to snowboard” — a stance backed by the US Forest Service, which approves a permit for Alta to operate and has supported the ski area in the battle.

But according to AP, the four snowboarders say the ban discriminatory, and based on “out-dated stereotypes and encourages divisive skier-versus-snowboarder attitudes”, saying Altahas transformed public land into a private country club.

Their appeal was last year dismissed by US District Judge Dee Benson, who ruled that snowboarders don’t have a constitutional right to practice their sport. No further date has yet been set for the court to hear oral arguments.

Deer Valley in Utah and Mad River Glen in Vermont also both ban snowboarders from their slopes.

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