Fall Education Seminars offer topics related to risk management and safety. Topics cover the range from summer operations to winter operations - all meant to give you tools and ideas you can bring back to your area. 

Industry Update: Claims, Cases, and Lessons Learned

Through the prism of our theme--risk management programs that rock--we'll analyze current industry legal and risk management issues with our deep pool of ASDA attorneys, with part of the focus on local issues and cases, and broader national issues as well. Our panel will discuss recent cases and claims which run the gamut of resort operations, and the take-aways and lessons that you can take back to your own ski areas. We'll also address trends in releases, summer activities, OSHA updates, the ADA, and new drones regulations from the FAA, and workers comp.

Dodging Bullets: The Consequences of our Fleet of Aging Lifts, and Preventative Solutions

Major lift failures are rare, but a number of recent mechanical lift malfunctions have underscored the need for all ski areas to take a closer look at their lift maintenance, modification and replacement plans to promote guest safety and minimize resort exposure. In an all-too-real hypothetical incident, we’ll explore the industry-wide consequences resulting from a far more serious and fatal catastrophic lift failure and the likely allegations that will follow such an incident. In its wake: prolonged and multiple lift closures, lawsuits with punitive damages, criminal investigations, costs to the resort, unprecedented industry-wide regulation and a media frenzy causing sustained damage to the resort brand and image. As concerned resorts and as a committed industry, we will explore possible solutions with our seasoned panel of stakeholders, focusing on the workable steps we can take individually and collectively to such an event.

Failing to Warn: Key Considerations for When (Whether), Why, and How We Warn our Guests

It’s the number one cause of action in almost every ski injury lawsuit—from lifts to terrain parks, tubing to on-mountain vehicles; even avalanches and tree wells. As operators, we do our best to warn and educate our guests through signage, websites, social media, releases, and one-on-one interaction with our guests. But is it enough? In this session, we will examine the broader issue of warnings through a number of recent ski industry lawsuits. In addition, we’ll analyze a fascinating case study highlighting the ramifications arising from the tragic death of a two-year old at Disney World by an alligator earlier this year. Those lessons—and some troubling mistakes—provide a cautionary tale for all recreational providers, no matter the danger at hand. And as we witness the explosion in technology and social media, as well as a stark shift in guest and parental attitudes, how and whether we engage, educate, and warn guests becomes critical in the defense of the number one claim against ski resorts.

Small Things Matter—and they Can Make a Big Difference in Risk Management

In our final FES session, we will highlight some innovative measures, or “small things”— that can may make a big difference in your risk management program, surveying some creative things that your fellow resorts are doing around the country, that you can adopt to make your risk management program rock, and these clever ideas run the gamut in mountain operations. And along the lines of “small things” we will spend some time focusing on kid-specific issues. While there isn’t a way to kid-proof our resorts, we will look at claims and risk management challenges geared toward the future of our sport and industry.