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question about counterfeit lift tickets and some other stuff

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
i've heard that alot of resorts give employees who find counterfeit lift tickets anywhere from $25 to $50/ticket they find. is this true?

also, the lift ticket is just for lifts? or is it required to ski a given mountain? for example, if i ski like an ass and get my ticket clipped, am i still around to stay on the mountain if i decided to climb up myself?

what prevents someone who's gotten their lift ticket clipped from buying another one at the ticket booth in cash? (i would suppose credit card transactions can be traced pretty quickly?)

just curious

melloboy
post #2 of 20
A lift ticket is a legal contract between you (the boarder) and the company that runs the show on that “given” mountain. Counterfeiting it or skiing without it (unless you ski out in the boonies) will mean breaking the law.
post #3 of 20
At ski areas on Forest Service land (most Western ski areas), your ticket is only required to ride the lifts. If you want to skin up, you can ski the mountain without it. I'm not sure, but it's possible this general rule doesn't apply if you've had your ticket pulled for bad behavior. While it's public land, the Forest Service has as much interest as anyone in ensuring it's used safely.

I don't know anything about how they catch counterfeiters. Counterfeiting tickets is, I believe, a crime everywhere. If you counterfeit multiple tickets, it may be a felony. You really, really don't want to be convicted of a felony.
post #4 of 20
In Europe you can walk up the mountain and ski it, tickets are only for lifts.
And yes, if yours gets taken away, you can just buy a new one.
post #5 of 20
There is a bonus program for employees who uncover counterfit tickets and this can include trying to ski with yesterdays ticket, or someone else's pass.

Knowingly skiing with one is a crime----what prevents you from going to the window and buying another ? Nothing if they clip your ticket, but run into the person who clipped you and ---guess what ? Buying a second ticket doesn't allow you to "start over" ! YOU have been TOLD to leave. The only other thing that may stop you from skiing especially in the west, if you were a REAL JERK, would be taking time to talk to the Sheriff's Dept. At one major area in Colorado last season I actually saw a uniformed officer from the Sheriff's Department skiing !
In the west you are permitted to ski on Forest Service Land and a ticket IS for the lifts, and that, I suspect, holds true for all Federal Land----

Think I covered it all.
post #6 of 20
There are a few resorts that are on privet land Two that i know of are Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley are both on Privet land. The Canyons is on some privet and some public land. They can and do ask people to leave the mountain if they don't have a lift pass. At the canyons i do know that a lot of backcountry skiers access the Canyons and ski down. I have also talked to a few backcountry skiers that have accessed pCMR from the backside of brighton and skier out on PCMR runs without any problems. They just don't take the lifts back up. Alta is on public land and they can't stop someone from snowboarding on the land. they can stop you from getting a ride on a lift at Alta. Counterfit passes are a crime and resorts do go after people who use and produce fake passes. Many resorts now use scanners and I would think this makes it harder to conterfit passes.
post #7 of 20
The Canyons seems pretty cool about it -- I see people skinning up from the base all the time. There just are not enough poeple willing to hike up for it to even appraoch being an issue with them. Though one you get up to the upper lifts there are no ticket checks, so theoretically I suppose you could hope a lift at that point.
post #8 of 20
Ski areas that are on National Forest land operate under leases which give them certain exclusive rights to operate and excercise control over their concession. In most cases they have created and maintained the ski trails at their expense and have the right to charge for the use of the terrain and I beleive to remove anyone who has not paid for the privilege or who is behaving in a manner that might endanger others. I have heard the argument that this is publicly owned land and that ski area owners cannot remove people who wish to skin up their slopes and ski their terrain without purchasing a ticket but I believe this argument neglects to consider that the ski area is an eclusive leasehold on public land. These are "their" facilities in the (similar) sense that the apartment you have rented is yours even though you do not own it. Now the ski patrol may just elect not to bother you. Thats another matter.
post #9 of 20
Ski area permits are not "exclusive leaseholds." They're not even leases, they're permits. The position that people can use the land (but not the lifts) isn't an argument, it's in the terms of the permit. Here are the immediately relevant terms from the form of Ski Area Special Use Permit (Form FS-2700-5b):

Section I(E) is headed "Nonexclusive Use" and, not surprisingly, provides: "This permit is not exclusive."

Section I(F) gets more specific: "Except for any restrictions as the holder and the authorized officer may agree to be necessary to protect the installation and operation of authorized structures and developments, the lands and waters covered by this permit shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes."
post #10 of 20
Our mountain has a $25 reward for lifties who snag a fraudulent pass. As far as behavior problems go, most people on the mountain have season passes ($225) so patrol will take the pass and you'll have to see a safety video and get the hairy eyball treatment from the mountain manager to get the pass pack. Generally that means you get the pass next weekend, but not that day.

Day pass people haven't been a problem. But if they want to buy a new pass and ride. Go for it.

Uphill travel is prohibited at our area, though if you're off piste and not obvious, you won't be bothered (by most of us).
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Ski area permits are not "exclusive leaseholds." They're not even leases, they're permits. The position that people can use the land (but not the lifts) isn't an argument, it's in the terms of the permit. Here are the immediately relevant terms from the form of Ski Area Special Use Permit (Form FS-2700-5b):

Section I(E) is headed "Nonexclusive Use" and, not surprisingly, provides: "This permit is not exclusive."

Section I(F) gets more specific: "Except for any restrictions as the holder and the authorized officer may agree to be necessary to protect the installation and operation of authorized structures and developments, the lands and waters covered by this permit shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes."
I stand corrected. Obviously I don't understand this permitting. I know the extent of the ski area's right to limit and control the uses of their ski areas has been a frequent topic in the past without a clear explanation of what their legal rights are, particularly with regard to individual ski instructors giving ski instruction at these National Forest Ski areas, for example Perhaps you can clarify some of these issues. Is it considered lawful for example to ski on the trails of a ski area which is entirely on USFS land without purchasing or displaying a lift ticket for example? I have always been given to understand that such a ski area could boot such people off, regardless of whether or not they have attempted to use the lifts. Similarly I have frequently heard that the practice of freelance ski instruction in such places is something the areas can forbid. I am asking only with regard to the agreements these areas have with the USFS, not about any local ordinances etc, although I can see where the expression "lawful purposes" could be an enormous loophole.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin
I know the extent of the ski area's right to limit and control the uses of their ski areas has been a frequent topic in the past without a clear explanation of what their legal rights are, particularly with regard to individual ski instructors giving ski instruction at these National Forest Ski areas, for example Perhaps you can clarify some of these issues. Is it considered lawful for example to ski on the trails of a ski area which is entirely on USFS land without purchasing or displaying a lift ticket for example?
I've asked such questions of people who definitely know the answers (Ski Patrol directors, etc) and have always gotten a vague answer, probably with good reason. As near as I can tell, the use permits are generally specific to each area and each area has restrictions/conditions that other areas may not be required to have. For instance, I believe Breckenridge is required to provide three backcountry access gates.

As others stated, a lift ticket is required for using any facility of the resort - such as a bathroom at a mid-mountain facility. You really can skin up a mountain and ski back down on the trails. Although, that may not be true of every Nat'l Forest ski area, but I know for a fact it's true at several. I was told once that crossing ski area boundaries is not legal though. For instance, you couldn't ski into a resort by crossing a boundary, nor could you skin up and ski out. Again, that may not be true of every resort, but where I asked the question it was.

As far as rewards for fraud go, it's generally not available to every employee. Usually just the ticket scanners and it varies from location to location. The most common problem is someone using someone elses season pass. A few years ago Breck had Summit Co. sheriffs hanging out just waiting to be called in to bust people.

Interesting side note, one of the reasons Silverton is having trouble getting use approvals is because they're located on BLM land - the first ski area on BLM.
post #13 of 20

Blm

What's that?
post #14 of 20
This matter is complicated by the linkages in the system between use of federal lands and the trespass laws of individual states and locales. ...You might very well be correct by interpretation of one group, and have one heck of a time proving it to the other group. I would think the way our complicated legal systems work for profit, most people would eventually find it more convenient and less expensive to just pay for the service along with the rest of the crowd.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugski
What's that?
Bureau of Land Management. A fed. govt. agency, part of the dept. of the Interior, that administers millions and millions of acres of land in the western states. In some western states, the govt. (this and other agencies combined) owns 90% of the land. They lease some of the land out (the term corporate welfare comes to mind) for mining, oil and gas, agriculture (forestry, grazing, water rights).
post #16 of 20
I know that at the area where I ski which on Massachusetts State Park land, the contract with the state that allows the ski to operate is such that people are technically not allowed to ski the area without a pass. I've seen a couple people hike and get away with it. I've also heard of pass holders who hiked when the mountain was closed because of a storm. They ran into (figuratively, the met him on the way down) a patroler and got royally reamed out for it; the didn't lose the passes for the season but were suspended for a week or two.
post #17 of 20
I have to wonder: If ski areas on Nat Forest land were unable to restrict those without Lift tickets from using their terrain because it is public land, how is it that the mgt can close certain terrain to those who do?

Incidently I still have some of my old season passes from the area where I used to work, which is entirely on National Forest and the fine print identifies them as "Ski passes", not "Lift tickets" and refers to the privilege of using "Ski Area Premises" in exchange for which the holder (of the ticket) agrees to certain conditions, including agreeing not to sue. It seems clear that, the possible language of the USFS special use permit notwithstanding, the ski area beleives it is entitled to control and restrict the use of its "premises". It seems reasonableto me that ,having created, maintained, groomed, and patrolled it's slopes, the ski area beleives it has provided services it is entitlked to be compensated for. I,m not sure how this jibes with the public's right to freely access and pass over its land, or whatever the specific language of the permit provides for.
post #18 of 20
oisin- I think there was a law suit many years ago on just this topic. Areas who blocked access to Natl. Forest property were compelled to put access gates in, to allow people access to the forest. You could go out---but the area had no further responsibility for you unless your actions outside the area caused concern for those still within the boundries.

An example would be going through a legally open "gate" at the top then hiking to an area where you may cause a slide back into the ski area effecting skiers in bounds.

I ran into an interesting situation at Vail last year when I dropped some cash from the lift and wanted to retrieve it from a roped off area (only about 30' in). I skied down and there were some patrol right there and I asked if I could go in. They allowed me to walk in w/o my skis which I was told was legal.
Don't get me wrong---they were very nice about it and had seen me ski and said they had no concerns about my ability to get in and out---it was just a technicality.
post #19 of 20
There are a bunch of different, sometimes related, sometimes not, topics running around in this thread.

I few thoughts:

- Ski areas often rope off and close areas within their boundaries for safety reasons. They do what they can to enforce these restrictions against everybody, whether they have a ticket or not. Of course, it's a little harder sometimes to stop someone who doesn't have a ticket, if your prime enforcement action to pull a ticket.

Similarly, the Forest Service likes the ski areas to warn people who leave the groomed/patrolled/lift-served areas. The government is no more excited about sending out helicopters to rescue people than the ski areas are.

- The general terms I quoted should be in all ski area permits. They are among the provisions in the form that the Forest Service supervisors aren't supposed to modify.

- It would not surprise me if some ski areas have, in practice, violated the terms of their permits by attempting to restrict access to non-ticketholders. They're not necessarily just being bad guys: it may surprise you, but a lot of the people who work for the ski area may not even know what the permit, or the law, says.

- The whole topic of going in and out of the boundaries of a ski area gets pretty complicated. A lot depends on what's on the other side. If, for example, it is a National Park: the National Park Service can be hostile to people paying to ride lifts and then using National Park land to ski. It's sort of ironic, but they may allow people without lift tickets to cross the boundary, and try to stop people with lift tickets. Incidentally, the National Park Service and the Forest Service are about as distantly related as any two federal agencies: they're under two entirely different cabinet-level departments: Interior and Agriculture, respectively.

Even if the border doesn't have a National Park on the other side, it may have a wilderness area. Some parts of the National Forests are wilderness areas, which are intended for different uses, and the Forest Service might restrict skiers from crossing from a ski area into a wilderness area (even if it is still in the same National Park). Various other concerns come into play: watershed and habitat protection, tribal rights, etc. Also, there are often chunks and pockets of private land inside of National Parks (as a ski area developer, you want your base area in one of these). Some are mining claims that predate the establishment of the Forest. Some are railroad landgrants (those one-mile-square checkerboards).

- The ski area does own the improvements it builds at the ski area: not only the lifts, but the buildings. Theoretically, I guess they could check lift tickets at the bathroom doors. It would be sort of amusing, anyway.

- Forest Service permits restrict the ski areas and other permittees in a number of other ways. Improvements have to be approved. If a ski area fails to keep up and improve the ski area, it could lose the permit. Owners of condominiums that are on permitted land may be required to rent out their condos a certain number of nights, and may have to pay a nightly fee to sleep in the units they "own."

- I don't really know about ski schools. Note that, though the permit holder can't keep the public off the land, it does have some exclusive rights: somebody else can't build a lift in the permit area, for example. Also, there's a public good in keeping out charlatan ski instructors. An analogy: tennis courts in city parks are open for anybody to play on, but the city might restrict instructors to those it approves. It seems that some sort of process for approving and authorizing ski schools is consistent with the principle of the permit, though I don't know the actual rules or practices are.

- As noted, this all relates to Forest Service ski areas only, which are mostly in the West. Some western areas are wholly, or partly, on private land too.
post #20 of 20
SJohnston
Thanks for your clarification. As it happens, most of the charlatan ski instructors I know work FOR the mountain I'll have to look at the various ski area permits in my area. Many areas are wholly or in part on National; Forest. Their permits ought to available as public records.
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