Category Archives: Outdoor News

Ikon Pass Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

Jackson Hole Ikon Resort

Alterra Mountain Company finally agreed this week to reimburse 2019/20 Ikon Pass holders, well kind of. If you think a $10 credit towards a 23/24 Ikon Pass is good enough restitution, then you can feel like a winner. According to Alterra/ Ikon Pass class action lawsuit settlement offer, if you used your pass more than seven days, that’s what you’ve “won.”

Under the terms of the settlement, class members can choose a pass credit or a discount lift ticket voucher where the values depend on the number of days you used your 2019/2020 pass. The Pass credits can be used towards the purchase of a 2023/2024 or 2024/2025 Ikon Pass season pass. Lift product vouchers can be used towards the purchase of a single-day lift ticket at any Alterra resort on or before July 31, 2025.

The settlement announcement has to be finalized by the District Court of Colorado but, if it is, it will resolve all claims that Alterra unjustly kept customers’ money after ski resorts closed due to Covid-19 in 2020.

The Ikon Pass Class Action Argument

According to the class action lawsuit against Ikon Pass, the plaintiffs in the case paid hundreds of dollars for unlimited access that promised “no blackout dates.” Although no one could predict the COVID-19 outbreak, the class action lawsuit argued that Ikon Pass still had a responsibility to refund customers who did not get the full benefit of their season pass purchases. Among other points, Robert Kramer et al argued that because Alterra laid off most of their resort employees, they could easily afford to refund customers due to decreased operating costs.

The expensive season ski pass included a pitch for “unlimited” ski days but the Covid-19 caused a spring lockdown that shuttered every ski area on the planet. However, while theme parks, hotels and airlines refunded consumers for tickets cancellations, Alterra with their Ikon pass product did not.

Alterra tried to assuage the angry mob back in the spring of 2020 by offering to double its “renewal discount” for 2020-21 passes which was laughable since the company had raised their prices nearly as much as the “discount”. Consumers would basically save $50 on an Ikon Base Pass or $100 for the Ikon Pass if they purchased it by May of that year.

The current settlement offer would provide a refund of up to $150 to American skiers who bought or received as a gift an Ikon Pass resort pass for the 2019/2020 season and who used their pass on one or more days before March 15, 2020. (See the details at the end of the post.) FYI- This is not for those who never used their pass.

The settlement offer keeps Ikon and Alterra from admitting any wrongdoing and anyone who doesn’t opt out of the class is bound to the terms of the settlement. You won’t be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Alterra for the same complaints. There is one option though, that seems buried in the Settlement language…

You can OBJECT

Instead of excluding yourself from the Settlement, you may object to it; give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider all objections before ruling and they could conceivably throw it back to Alterra and tell them to “do better.” You have until Nov. 18, 2022, to object and it has to be done by snailmail. Your objection must contain: (1) the name of the Lawsuit (Kramer v. Alterra Mountain Co. and Ikon Pass Inc., Case No. 1:20-cv-01057-RM-SKC (D. Colo.)); (2) your full name and current address and telephone number; (3) the specific reasons for your objection; (4) any evidence and supporting papers (including, but not limited to, all briefs, written evidence, and declarations) that you want the Court to consider in support of your objection; and (5) your signature.

You must mail your written objection to the Settlement Administrator at:

Goodrich v. Alterra Mountain Company Settlement Administrator
Attn: Objection
P.O. Box 58220
Philadelphia, PA 19102

More Deadlines

The final approval hearing for the Ikon Pass refunds settlement is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2023.

In order to receive settlement benefits, class members must submit a valid claim form by Jan. 2, 2023.


The Settlement Offer

Pass Credits

  1. Pass Credit Amounts. For any Settlement Class Member who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort a total of one or more days on or before March 15, 2020, the following Pass Credits are available:
    1. A single $150 Pass Credit for Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 1 day; 
    2. A single $125 Pass Credit for Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 2 days;
    3. A single $100 Pass Credit for Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 3 days; 
    4. A single $50 Pass Credit for Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 4 days; 
    5. A single $20 Pass Credit for Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 5 or 6 days; and
    6. A single $10 Pass Credit for Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort 7 or more days. 
  2. Pass Credit Delivery. Unless a Settlement Class Member submits a Valid Election for a Lift Product Voucher in lieu of a Pass Credit, the appropriate Pass Credit amount will automatically be applied to each Settlement Class Member’s Ikon pass holder profile without any requirement to fill out a claim form or take any other affirmative action. The appropriate Pass Credit amount will be loaded into the online Ikon pass holder account of the primary pass holder associated with the Settlement Class Member’s profile as of the date of disbursement of the Pass Credit. 
  3. Pass Credit Scope of Use. Each Pass Credit must be used in full in a single transaction, and may be used at any time during the standard applicable sales period toward the purchase of any Ikon pass product available for use during the 2023/24 or 2024/25 Ski Seasons that the Pass Credit recipient is eligible for. A Pass Credit may be applied toward the purchase of an Ikon pass product at an already discounted price or be applied with other available discounts (e.g., renewal credit, nurses discount, college discount, and so on).
  4. Pass Credit Transferability. The Pass Credit amount is not transferrable except to another Ikon pass holder associated with the same primary pass holder account (an “Affiliate Ikon Pass Holder”). To request a qualifying transfer to an Affiliate Ikon Pass Holder (that is, someone within the same primary pass holder account), the primary pass holder must contact Alterra’s standard call center. 
  5. Stack-ability. Upon transfer, Affiliate Ikon Pass Holder Pass Credits may be used in combination, to purchase one or more Ikon pass product(s) as described above for anyone who is an Affiliate Ikon Pass Holder. Each Pass Credit, however, may only be used toward the purchase of a single qualifying Ikon pass product, and any unused remaining portion of said Credit will be forfeited.  

Lift Product Voucher 

  1. Lift Product Voucher Amounts. For any Settlement Class Member who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort a total of one or more days prior to March 15, 2020, the following Lift Product Vouchers are available to elect instead of a Pass Credit:
    1. Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 1 day, may elect to receive one 50% Lift Product Voucher;
    2. Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 2 days, may elect to receive one 40% Lift Product Voucher;
    3. Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 3 days, may elect to receive one 30% Lift Product Voucher:
    4. Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 4 days, may elect to receive one 25% Lift Product Voucher; and 
    5. Settlement Class Members who used their 2019/20 Ikon Pass to access an Ikon Resort exactly 5 or more days, may elect to receive one 20% Lift Product Voucher.    
  2. Lift Product Voucher Election and Delivery. If a Settlement Class Member submits a Claim Form and makes a Valid Election (in lieu of a Pass Credit), the Lift Product Voucher will be applied to the individual Ikon pass holder profile and placed in the account of the primary pass holder associated with the Settlement Class Member’s profile as of the date of disbursement of the Lift Product Voucher. To make a Valid Election, a Settlement Class Member must submit a properly completed claim form by the Court-approved deadline that includes, among other information, the name, address, email address, and unique Customer ID or Pass ID associated with their Ikon pass holder account.
  3. Lift Product Voucher Scope of Use. The Lift Product Voucher may be applied toward the purchase and use on or before July 31, 2025 of one single-day lift ticket at any single Alterra Mountain Company-owned or operated resort. The Lift Product Voucher may be redeemed and applied toward the purchase of a single day lift ticket online through the applicable Alterra Mountain Company-owned or operated resort’s website or at the walk-up window. A Lift Product Voucher may be applied toward the purchase of a single day lift ticket at the posted full or Advance Purchase rate, but may not be applied to an already discounted rate or combined with other available discounts.
  4. Lift Product Voucher Transferability. The Lift Product Voucher is fully transferrable and may be resold once by each Settlement Class Member recipient. To complete a transfer, a Settlement Class Member will, using their online Ikon pass holder account, enter the email address of the transferee. The transferee will then receive an email prompting them to accept or decline the transfer. To accept the transfer, the transferee must have or create an online Ikon account, though they need not make any purchase. A Lift Product Voucher may not be transferred or resold a second time.

Another Crappy Utah Ski Season? La Nina to Strike Again

canyons resort during La nina

Seriously? Climate forecasters are calling for a third shitty ski season in a row for Utah. El Nino, will you please put Baby in the corner?! If you live in the Beehive state and live for winters, you might want to rethink your plans for the 22/23 season.

Not only is this bad news for skiers but next summer’s water babies too. Utah’s most popular watering holes like Flaming Gorge, Lake Powell, and the Great Salt Lake reached all-time lows this summer and, without a decent snowpack for 2023, the paddler’s future looks pretty bleak.

Why Does La Nina Torment Utah?

It’s no surprise that global warming and climate change have taken its toll on the world’s ski resorts and things don’t seem to be getting any better. Weather forecasters are going out on a limb already and predicting that the bitch is back. Usually La Nina’s occur every 3 to 5 years and not normally on successive years. However, La Niña conditions will bring around another warm, dry winter to the western part of the U.S. for the third time in a row! Remember last ski season (if you can even call it that)? The latest NOAA outlook says there’s more than an 80 percent chance of that happening again from November to January.

What is El Nino

According to, El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific. With El Nino, you get a warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that brings increased rain to that area. Winds that normally blow from east to west along the equator (“easterly winds”) weaken or start blowing “westerly”.

In California in the 80s, we lived for El Nino. Even now, an El Nino forecast would make a Sierra skier swoon. In fact, five of the top eight El Ninos since 1966 produced at least 170 percent of normal snowfall.

Where The Snow Will Be in 2022/23

If La Nina shows her ugly face, all is not lost for Utahns as long as you have an Ikon pass. The Pacific Northwest will be cooler and wetter along with Southern and interior Alaska. Perhaps start saving up for that epic Alaska heli excursion in April?

All Is Not Lost

There is yet another pattern besides El Nino and La Nina and that’s called Neutral. During a Neutral phase, conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are near average and all bets are off. So far, Neutral looks to be our best hope. states that there have been 24 La Niña winters in our historical record. Of those, only one (2016–17) changed to neutral in December–February. And guess what, Folks? Brighton reported nearly 700 inches of snow that season!

Four other La Ninas transitioned to neutral in January–March and one (2000–01) by February–April. Forecasters and computer models right now are fairly confident of a La Nina until at least February 2023 but several models do hint that La Niña will transition to neutral in January–March. If that happens it will only be the fifth time in 73 years. Maybe it won’t be too late to save Utah’s winter.

Epic Snow

Vail Resorts California Settlement: What You Need To Know.

Park City A Vail Resorts Company

I got my papers. The ones from Vail Resorts’ attorneys telling all VR employees that we’ve got a settlement on the table for a lawsuit in California. The papers say we get about $80 bucks and all we have to do is sit back and wait for the check. Now, you might be thinking, “Wow, an extra $80 and I don’t have to do anything? Sweet. Vail rocks.” Not so fast.

The Vail Resorts Condensed Settlement History

More than a year ago, four former Vail Resorts employees at Heavenly Valley Resort in California (at separate times) found separate attorneys who would help them in their fight against “unjust enrichment and unpaid work”.

The first two were filed by Anna Gibson and Adam Heggen. Heggen’s, filed in California state court October 2020, alleged that Heggen was not paid for breaks and meals while working as a security guard for the resort.

Gibson filed her case in California Superior Court in April 2021. A third related case, also against Heavenly, was filed by Christopher Hamilton in July 2021. The fourth, from Paul Greg Robards, was filed in December 2021.

Vail had the Heggen, Gibson, Hamilton and Robards cases removed (transferred) to federal California court. Now, if you’re not yet confused, here’s another twist. Vail did not remove a second case filed by Hamilton in California state court based on the same facts. This is the Hamilton v. Vail case that is in front of all us VR employees at the moment. Vail submitted the settlement for approval in California state court and we either opt in or opt out.

All the other cases together allege “Vail violated federal and state wage and hour laws, and several related causes of action” but it’s been ‘stayed’ pending the outcome of the Hamilton case.

Vail Resorts Charges In Detail

In order to release all possible claims against Vail, Hamilton filed an amended complaint in California
state court after the settlement was submitted for approval.*

The Action contains claims against Vail for: (i) unpaid wages (including but not limited to minimum wages, overtime wages, double time wages, and wage premiums) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and/or the laws of the states of California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, Minnesota, Utah, Washington, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wyoming (collectively, “Class States”); (ii) failure to authorize, provide or allow proper meal and/or rest periods under the FLSA and/or the laws of the Class States; (iii) failure to pay proper meal and/or rest break premiums under the laws of the Class States; (iv) failure to reimburse expenses, as well as any resulting claims for unpaid wages arising out of such allegations, under the FLSA and/or the laws of the Class States; (v) unlawful deductions, rebates, or refunds from wages, as well as any resulting claims for unpaid wages arising out of such allegations; (vi) breach of contract under the laws of the Class States; (vii) failure to accurately record time or keep accurate records under the FLSA and/or the laws of the Class States; (viii) failure to provide accurate employment records upon request under the laws of the Class States; (xiv) improper or inaccurate wage statements under the laws of the Class States; (xv) failure to pay timely wages during employment under the FLSA and/or laws of the Class States; (xvi) failure to pay timely wages at or after termination under the FLSA and/or laws of the Class States; (xvii) solicitation of employees by misrepresentation under the laws of the Class states; (xviii) fraudulent solicitation of employees under the laws of the Class States; (xix) employment under conditions detrimental to employee health under federal law and/or the laws of the Class States, (xx) unfair business practices under the laws of the Class States ; (xxi) false or deceptive representation or advertisement under the laws of the Class States; (xxii) statutory or civil penalties (including but not limited to those under PAGA); (xxiii) unfair competition under the laws of the Class States; and (xxiv) unjust enrichment under the laws of the Class States. The Action seeks damages for lost wages, interest, penalties, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and expenses.

That’s pretty comprehensive. It basically doesn’t leave any room for employment challenges by any current employee in the future.

Is Vail Resorts The Big Bad Wolf?

Ask any ski area employee – from Vail, Alterra, Boyne, anywhere – and they will likely complain about some or all of the above ever since they started their jobs. We love our work but the resorts rarely return the love. I’m pretty sure our ski school director couldn’t put faces to names without the nametag. Ski areas prey on an employee’s passion for the ski industry. They know they can get away with mediocre treatment because defending what’s right is a fast track to unemployment. Plus, where would we go if every resort in our state is no different?

I aggressively asked for help on a private Facebook page about the inability to reach a human being to get my paperwork done and was told if I didn’t like it maybe Deer Valley was hiring. Really? What about listening to your employees and “doing better”?! Oh, and if you post concerns on the private FB page, it gets deleted by admin. It’s safe to say, most resorts don’t want to hear constructive feedback from their employees.

Ski resorts have a funky way of doing business since forever and they act surprised and offended when we speak up. VR even sends out biannual surveys asking for our input yet conveniently words the questions in their favor while excluding places to write in comments.

Think you should be paid while you stand around in your uniform waiting to be assigned a lesson? You usually aren’t. A snowboard instructor I met said, “This is bullshit,” and walked off one day. He never came back. For decades, the only alternative if you didn’t like something, was to leave or be fired.

So, while the California suit was bubbling in 2020 and unbeknownst to anyone outside of the immediate players, two ski instructors and a ticket scanner in a little VR ski area in Colorado called Breckenridge, decided to also go up against their employer.

Quint et al v. Vail Resorts Inc.

Those (2 former and 1 current) Breck employees filed a lawsuit in December 2020 alleging similar claims to the case in Heavenly. But their attorneys Ed Dietrich and Benjamin Galdston didn’t stop at just unpaid meal breaks. They went for the jugular… in federal, not state, court, and covered employees from 18 states instead of just California:

“All current and former Vail Resorts hourly employees who worked in the United States and who
were not compensated for work-related equipment and cell phone costs or “off-the-clock” work
including, but not limited to, travel time, donning and doffing time, and training time during the three
years preceding the filing of this Complaint through judgment (the “FLSA Collective” or the “Hourly
Employees”).” The complaint asserted claims for Vail Resorts’ violations of the federal Fair Labor
Standards Act, (“FLSA”), and the laws of the States of Colorado, California, Utah, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Washington, New York, Vermont and Michigan, and common law. “Through this action,
Plaintiffs seek recompense for unpaid wages, overtime and other benefits wrongly withheld from
them and all other similarly situated current and former Vail Resort employees,” It went on.

The complaint alleged, among other things, that despite representing to job applicants, returning employees and competitors that Vail Resorts pays its employees a set base rate per hour worked, Vail Resorts willfully and systematically fails to pay its hourly employees for all hours worked at the hourly wage specified in employment agreements. For example, pursuant to Company policy, Vail Resorts
generally pays ski and snowboard instructors (“Snow Sport Instructors”) at their regular rate for shifts
of 6.5-7.25 hours per day. However, Vail Resorts supervisors and managers know that Snow Sport
Instructors typically work more than 9 hours per day, including compensable time working while
traveling on Company buses, donning and doffing indispensable uniforms and equipment, training,
and “off the clock” work performed prior to and after shifts.

A Tale of Two Cases

While the California case is trying to settle for $13 million, the Colorado case, Quint et al v. Vail Resorts Inc., which has grown to more than 20 named plaintiffs since it was started, not only seeks far more than that but it also wants policy changes. If it actually had a chance in court, it could potentially signal to every other ski company in the U.S. that if they don’t behave accordingly with their own employees, they too could face sanctions. Just this season employees saw the consequences of the pending lawsuit. Vail began to pay for ‘donning and doffing’ and stopped requiring unpaid training clinics. But there’s nothing that would prevent them reversing these rules once the settlement is reached.

Makes sense that VR would want to quietly settle the California case for a few bucks and no consequences than face a much larger pricetag, and costly employment directives companywide like paid training, gear allowances, paid breaks, etc. that they couldn’t escape.

How to Respond to The Vail Resorts California Settlement

Pay attention to this part, kiddies. IF THE MAJORITY OF VR EMPLOYEES TAKE THAT $80 AND WALK, THERE MAY BE NO CLASS FOR THE COLORADO CASE AND NO OPPORTUNITY FOR THE MORE COMPREHENSIVE ALLEGATIONS TO BE CONSIDERED. There is also nothing in this California settlement that would encourage or direct Vail Resorts to make changes in their employment practices and isn’t that what we want? It’s not about the money. It’s about respect and real change.

[An anonymous VR employee posted this website for further clarification and links to the forms you need to opt out.]

“How can it only be $80 when the settlement is $13 million,” you ask? The breakdown was written in fine print and buried in your settlement docs:

Out of the $13.1 million to “settle all claims” (that means you can never sue for the same claims of unpaid wages EVER), $4.36 million will go to the lawyers. Another $500,000 — 3.9% of the settlement fund — will go to complaints made using the Private Attorneys General Act, and 75% of that ($375,000) will be paid to the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency for “assisting in facilitating that process.” That leaves $8.24 million to be distributed evenly across the 100,000 members of the class. That’s $82 bucks per person.

Except it’s not split evenly. Fulltime Heavenly ski instructors will get more than Vail’s other California employees, and the named plaintiff will also get a bigger chunk for their time and effort they put into the case. You might think, “But maybe a large portion of the 100,000 members will opt out so I will get more of the pie.” Not exactly. Most of the unclaimed leftovers get to go back to Vail!

Dietrich told SPL that his firm is fighting as hard as possible to get people meaningful recovery. He said the settlement notice is misleading and that VR is trying to get all of their liabilities settled in this one case without ever mentioning the Quint v. Vail case.

At the time of the Colorado filing, according to the filings in the Quint case, VR had a duty to disclose the California cases so they both could possibly be joined into one larger class action but VR didn’t say a word until it was too late. Perhaps VR was hoping to settle the California one first and bind all of their employees to it. That $80 bucks would automatically prevent every VR employee from being a part of the Colorado case or any other case suing over similar complaints. EVER.

VR employees

What Happens If You Opt Out

If five percent or more of the employees opt out, then Vail can and probably will reneg on the California settlement. They’re not going to want to pay out on this one and then face another class action later.

By “waiving our rights” to this California settlement, we retain the right to make a change heard ‘round the ski world. What’s a paltry $80 worth if VR and every other resort can continue to abuse the passion we share for the ski industry? By turning down that $80, we can be part of a much broader settlement- the one waged in Colorado; it won’t be just about the money. It will be about change. If it goes to court, it will create laws that protect us; it will level the field and force resorts to treat their employees like any other. When you show up to work, you get paid until you leave. If you need thousands of dollars of equipment to do your job, it’s provided to you. If a smartphone is required for your job, it’s compensated. If training is required to keep your job, it’s provided and the list goes on. Now is not the time to wait for $80 to roll in. It’s the time to opt out, and dream of positive change. 

You might now think, “Oops, I didn’t opt out but I’ll just tear up that check when it comes.”  People, please read your notice again. Consider the wording in those instructions-

You are first told: If you want to participate in the Settlement and receive a monetary payment, there are two ways to do so. First, you can fill out and return the “Consent to Join” Form. Second, you can do nothing, wait to receive a payment, and then cash the check you receive.

HOWEVER, below these instructions it says: If you wish to exclude yourself and do not want to participate in the Settlement, send the Opt-Out Statement to the Settlement Administrator which will remove you from the Action and the Settlement. You will not receive any payment. You will keep your right to sue Vail for the legal claims in this Action. The Settlement will bind all Class Members who do not request exclusion by submitting an Opt-Out Form.

Let’s check out that last sentence again- The Settlement will bind all Class Members who do not request exclusion by submitting an Opt-Out Form.

In other words, if you tear up the check but don’t physically opt-out, you are still bound to the judgment. You just don’t get the $80 bucks. You have waived all your rights to later sue for uncompensated time and other allowances.

Nuts and Bolts

What you choose to do is entirely up to you but it helps to know the background and all the facts and how it impacts you and your love for the ski industry. What they have shared with us is misleading.

Your document says if you opt out, you retain your right to sue. They don’t tell you there’s already another case pending you could join so you don’t have to take on your own legal fight.

Even the opt out form is hard to find. It’s not online. It’s in your settlement packet and if you don’t have the Camscanner app on your phone, they make you think you have to snail mail it in, making you work even harder to stand up for your rights.

If you wish to be excluded from the Settlement, you must submit an Opt-Out Form to the Settlement Administrator on or before May 6, 2022. Did anyone else notice that only the ‘consent to join’ form is available online? If you want the opt out form, use the one that came in the mail or you can download this one, snailmail AND email it to

Make sure that if you are emailing the form, you take a minute to add your two cents. I was told my comments would be forwarded to the settlement administrator and the judge. Let them know how you feel. Maybe it gets passed along to VR.

Not sure what to say? Feel free to quote our anonymous champion at Resort Settlement Opt Out:

  1. The compensation offered to us is grossly insufficient. They offered me less than $100. As a part-timer, I estimate that Vail shorted me over $2000 since 2016. Why does Vail get to keep the rest?
  2. Vail refuses to admit that they didn’t “Do Right.” Yet, this season Vail changed many of the practices described in the complaint. That’s a tacit admission that Vail did not “Do Right” in the past. Remember all that training on Vail’s Core Values?
  3. Vail makes no commitment to “Do Right” in the future. To “Do Right” would mean accurately recording ALL the time we work and paying for it.
  4. The settlement amount is too small to make Vail “Do Right.” The plaintiffs claimed $108,000,000 in damages, then settled for 7.2% of that amount after fees and costs. WTF?

What To Do After You Opt Out

Maybe you didn’t. That’s ok. Maybe you opted out on principle to help other employees you feel were wronged but don’t really care for yourself. For those who did, if you have the time and energy, you could start your own case. With everything that’s going on in this realm, there’s bound to be an attorney at the ready. But maybe you agree that Vail should be forced to make changes but the idea of filing your own lawsuit is crazy.

Did you know you can ‘opt in’ to the Colorado case? Leave a comment below so we can try to help or find them here.

At the end of the day, we just hope you understand the mechanics of these lawsuits and choose the path that’s best for you.


*Most of these “amended” claims were previously alleged in the Quint case in Colorado federal court but not in any of the California cases.


**From the Settlement Notice

The “Class Members” are all non-exempt employees who, at any time during the “Covered Period” worked for and were employed by Vail in the United States and worked primarily at one of its resort locations or mountain facilities. The “Covered Period” starts:

  • For Class Members employed in Wyoming, on October 21, 2010.
  • For Class Members employed in Indiana, Ohio, Washington, Minnesota, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Colorado, on October 21, 2014.
  • For Class Members employed in Missouri, on October 21, 2015.
  • For Class Members employed in California, Pennsylvania, and Utah, on October 21, 2016.
  • For Class Members employed in New Hampshire, on October 21, 2017.
  • For Class Members not employed in one of the above identified states, on October 21, 2016.

The Covered Period ends, for all Class Members employed in California, on December 15, 2021, and for all Class Members employed in states other than California, on October 23, 2021.

Utah Has Shitty Air Quality

Salt Lake City Night Sky

A new report from the American Lung Association has revealed that Salt Lake City and Logan, Utah, rank among the cities with some of the worst air quality nationwide. The 2022 “State of the Air” report, released today, shows the two Utah towns are doing better for some of the most harmful and widespread types of air pollution: particle pollution and ozone (smog), but not so great overall, ranking 10th in the nation.

Compared to last year’s report, the Salt Lake City region improved slightly from 17th to 20th most polluted for short-term particle pollution and from 8th to 10th most polluted for ozone. Logan-area residents experienced an improvement with fewer unhealthy days of short-term particle pollution spikes. Logan’s ranking improved from 7th to 18th most polluted for short-term particle pollution.

On the brightside, St. George ranked among the country’s cleanest cities, making the lists for both short-term and year-round particle pollution.

The “State of the Air” report is the Lung Association’s annual air quality “report card” that tracks and grades Americans’ exposure to unhealthy levels of smog, soot, and short-term spikes in particle pollution, over a three-year period. This year’s report covers 2018-2020. See the full report at

“Despite some recent improvements, the levels of ozone and particle pollution seen in several areas of Utah can still harm the health of all of our residents. But particularly at risk are children, older adults, pregnant people, and those living with chronic disease. Both ozone and particle pollution can cause premature death and other serious health effects such as asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm. Particle pollution can also cause lung cancer,” said Nick Torres, advocacy director for the Lung Association.

Ground-level Ozone Pollution in Utah

For the second report in a row, the Salt Lake City metro area experienced fewer unhealthy days of high ozone on average, after having seen several years of increases between the 2017 and 2020 “State of the Air” reports. The region’s weighted average of 21.8 days was still high enough to rank 10th among the nation’s most polluted cities for ozone pollution.

Uintah County and Duchesne County each showed slight improvements over last year’s report, but still earned Fs.

Particle Pollution in Utah

The report also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, which can be extremely dangerous and even lethal. Short-term particle pollution in the Salt Lake City metro area reached its lowest ever, but the area still ranks 20th among the most-polluted cities nationally in that category. Utah County’s weighted average of 8.0 days is trending in the right direction, down from a high of 31.7 days in the “State of the Air 2006.”

Short-term particle pollution in Logan also showed improvements, but still ranks among the country’s most polluted cities in that category (18th). Compared to last year’s report, Cache County’s weighted average of unhealthy particle pollution days dropped from 12.7 to 9.3 days. Like Utah County, Cache County is also trending in the right direction. The weighted average of 9.3 days in this year’s report still earns an F, but it is significantly down from Cache County’s worst period of 31.8 days in “State of the Air 2008.”

The 2022 “State of the Air” found that year-round particle pollution levels in Utah were slightly worse overall than in last year’s report, but all counties earned passing grades. The Salt Lake City region maintained the same year-round particle pollution levels as in last year’s report, the area’s best ever.

The report found that nationwide, nearly 9 million more people were impacted by deadly particle pollution than reported last year. It also shows more days with “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” air quality than ever before in the two-decade history of this report. Overall, more than 137 million Americans live in counties that had unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution. Communities of color are disproportionately exposed to unhealthy air. The report found that people of color were 61% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one pollutant, and 3.6 times as likely to live in a county with a failing grade for all three pollutants.

Fortunately, Utahns have several escape-to-clean-air routes. Just head up to the mountains along I-80, Little and Big Cottonwood canyons, out to the Uintas, or up Provo Canyon for fresh breaths.

The addition of 2020 data to the 2022 “State of the Air” report gives a first look at air quality trends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of the shutdowns in early 2020, there was no obvious improvement.

The American Lung Association is calling on the Biden administration to strengthen the national limits on both short-term and year-round particulate matter air pollution. See the full report results and sign the petition here.

Vail Resorts To Buy Stake In Swiss Ski Area Andermatt-Sedrun

Andermatt-Sedrun Resort

Today Switzerland, tomorrow the world.

It’s what many locals in Utah, California and British Columbia have feared. Vail Resorts isn’t going away any time soon, instead they are expanding their empire. Mega ski industry leader Vail Resorts announced this week that it plans to purchase a majority stake in Swiss ski resort Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG and take over operations. This will be their first European installment.

“The base area and the mountain [investments] have created a high-end experience with significant capacity for growth from guests from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe and around the world. We plan to rely heavily on, and learn from, our partners, community members and the Andermatt-Sedrun team as we gain experience and understanding of the resort, its guests and operations,” said Kirsten Lynch, CEO of Vail Resorts, in a statement.

Andermatt-Sedrun Buy-In Brings Back Memories

This deal sounds similar to the one with Talisker Group in Utah back in 2013, where VR took over all resort operations at Canyons and later Park City in 2014, before purchasing the land under PCM outright. VR summarily replaced all department heads with VR’s own personnel shortly after, despite earlier promises to maintain the status quo. Seven years later, VR is still making more enemies than friends in Park City.

“Vail Resorts is the ideal partner for our goal of developing Andermatt into The Prime Alpine Destination,” said Samih Sawiris, majority owner of ASA, about the largest ski resort in Switzerland. “With Vail Resorts’ additional capital investment in the resort, deep expertise in successful operations of integrated mountain destinations, and the company’s impressive marketing capabilities and destination guest reach, Vail Resorts will provide a significant boost to the development of Andermatt-Sedrun.” (Careful what you wish for, ASA!)

What Andermatt-Sedrun Take Over Means For Epic Passholders

On the plus side, Epic Pass, Epic Day Pass (but save your day pass for the US. It will be cheaper to purchase a ticket there) and Epic Local pass holders (5 days) will be able to scoot over to Switzerland and check things out for themselves in the 2022/23 season. The Epic Pass also provides European access to partner resorts including five days at Verbier4Vallées in Switzerland, seven days at Les 3 Vallées in France, seven days at Skirama Dolomiti in Italy and three days at Ski Arlberg in Austria. Find specific details at

Andermatt-Sedrun is located less than 90 minutes from Zurich, Lucerne and Lugano, and roughly two hours from Milan.

1 2 3 4 34