Alta asks judge to toss snowboarders’ lawsuit

Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 24, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — Alta Ski Resort has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group demanding the right to snowboard on its grounds.

The filing in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City is in response to a lawsuit by a group calling itself “Wasatch Equality” that claims Alta’s ban on snowboarders violates their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

“Plaintiffs, who characterize themselves as a class ‘of people . . . who stand sideways on a single snowboard,’ lack standing to assert a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment,” wrote Frederick Thaler, an attorney for Alta Ski Lifts Company.

“It demeans the Constitution itself to suggest that the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in the aftermath of the Civil War, includes in its zone of protection those who engage in a particularized winter sport.”

Read Alta’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit here.

Alta also said the U.S. Forest Service is not the one requiring the resort ban snowboarders, but allows them to “promote safety of employees and persons on the mountain” by regulating uphill and downhill travel, attorneys wrote.

The U.S. Forest Service is expected to file its response to Wasatch Equality’s lawsuit next week.