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 Risk Management Overview

When it comes to risk management, the challenge for today’s resort is managing the exposures in creative ways so that you can offer new, innovative – and yes, safe – activities that your guests demand, and keep you competitive. There are indeed some risks worth taking – when smartly implemented. This session will explore the risks we face today and the (often surprising) management tools we have at our disposal, and we will unveil new terrain park guidance and brand new signage for the industry. In addition, we will survey current legal claims and issues facing the broader ski industry – with key help from our ASDA attorneys – with key take-aways for your own resort program.

Self-Inflicted Wounds: Paying Close Attention to Written Manuals, Policies, and Agreements

Having written policies, procedures, and manuals are an essential risk management tool, and arguably well worth the risk – when properly and regularly scrutinized and updated. This session will highlight claims and lawsuits where resorts have failed to revisit their written policies, guidelines, or manuals, only to come back years later to haunt them. This includes outside manuals from suppliers and concessionaires, which resorts don’t even draft or write themselves! The key is not eliminating written procedures or protocols – rather, the key is to be mindful of their role and importance, and scrutinize them in light of current risk management considerations. In addition, we’ll address some key aspects of event management practices and agreements which also can lead to similar self-inflicted wounds, where ski areas do not pay proper attention to written contracts and risk-shifting agreements.

New Strategies for Combating Reckless Skiing and Collisions

Increased skier volume and improved uphill capacity are certainly risks worth taking. But growth presents new risk management challenges. The effort to combat reckless skiing and collisions is taking on added importance in the industry, especially as Millenials emphasize safety awareness as a defining hallmark of their generation. We will analyze both old and new strategies resorts are employing to mitigate reckless skiing and collisions, traffic flow, and the role of ski patrol, and cases where ski resorts are getting “back doored” into traditional skier-skier lawsuits. A renewed emphasis on a resort’s safety culture and enforcement efforts – as well as other creative strategies – will help minimize any hits to a resort’s reputation, as well as to its deductible.

Surveillance as an Emerging Risk Management Tool

Surveillance appears to be another risk worth considering. As technologies have dramatically improved, and costs have plummeted, ski areas are re-thinking video surveillance as an important risk management tool. A small number of ski areas have pioneered the use of surveillance video in base area operations and for chairlift loading areas. The goals of surveillance include employee training, guest education, anti-theft improvement, and overall claims management. We will survey how other ski areas have embraced this tool, infrastructure needs, storage and retention policies, and the impact on claims – using actual video footage from other resorts to tell this increasingly important risk story.