Passholders lose ground in Vail Resorts lawsuit
October 5, 2009
BRECKENRIDGE – A lawsuit more than 20 lifetime ski-pass holders filed against Vail Resorts was settled Friday. It appeared to be a net loss for the passholders, who previously had sold the use of the passes to the tune of thousands of dollars a year.
Now, the pass holders may neither rent nor lease their transferable passes for cash, but the passes may be sold or used as gifts in connection with business. They may also be used as prizes or awards if Vail Summit Resorts provides written authorization, according to the terms filed Friday with Summit County Combined Courts. The settlement was reached while the seven-member jury was deliberating a verdict.
The passes exist because of a perk offered in 1969 to the first folks who invested in Keystone Ski Resort. Each of 33 investors received five lifetime ski passes for their $25,000 contributions.
The passes may now be used at any ski operation run by Vail Resorts.
The lawsuit stems from a 2006 decision by Vail Resorts to stop honoring rented lifetime passes, according to a previous report in the Denver Post.
The plaintiffs were also concerned with a requirement that they send in or fax transfer forms any time the passes were lent to others. The settlement terms specify that the passes may now be transferred “on a daily basis,” with no mention of transfer forms.
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The passes expire upon death of the people listed in the settlement die or April 1, 2050, whichever comes first, according to the terms.
“Vail Resorts is pleased that this dispute over the use of lifetime passes has been settled and that the plaintiffs’ claims have been dismissed. In particular, that the plaintiffs have agreed that commercial use of their lifetime pass skiing privileges is prohibited,” Vail Resorts senior vice president and general counsel Fiona Arnold said in an e-mailed statement.
Plaintiff Eliott Robertson declined to comment. Other plaintiffs either could not immediately be reached for comment.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or email@example.com.