.................... moves to amend H.F. No. 1865 as follows:
Delete everything after the enacting clause and insert:
"Section 1. [184C.01] TITLE.
1.4This chapter constitutes the "Minnesota Ski Safety Act."
Sec. 2. [184C.02] DEFINITIONS.
1.6 Subdivision 1. Application. As used in this chapter, the terms defined in this section
1.7have the meanings given them.
1.8 Subd. 2. ANSI Ski Lift Code. "ANSI Ski Lift Code" means the American National
1.9Standard for Passenger Ropeways-Aerial Tramways, Aerial Lifts, Surface Lifts, Tows and
1.10Conveyors Safety Requirements, B77.1-2006, as published by the American National
1.11Standards Institute, including any revisions or replacement standards adopted by the
1.12institute after the effective date of this section.
1.13 Subd. 3. Competition. "Competition" means any event operated by a ski area
1.14operator or any other party authorized by the ski area operator at a ski area involving
1.15comparison of skills, including a ski race, mogul contest, jumping event, freestyle event,
1.16snowcross contest, or other similar contest or event. Competition includes training
1.17sessions for a contest or event.
1.18 Subd. 4. Training session. "Training session" means skiing by a skier who is
1.19registered to participate in a competition and who engages in skiing for the purposes
1.20of preparing for the competition.
1.21 Subd. 5. Conditions and risks of skiing. "Conditions and risks of skiing" means:
1.22(1) changes in weather and visibility;
1.23(2) surface or subsurface conditions, including, but not limited to, snow in any
1.24condition, ice, crust, slush, soft spots, ridges, rollers, knobs, holes, grooves, tracks from
1.25ski area vehicles, bare spots, rocks, boulders, stumps, and logs, brush or other forest
1.26growth or debris or piles thereof;
2.1(3) variations in difficulty of terrain and surface and subsurface conditions on a
2.2single trail or route or within a single trail difficulty designation category at a ski area
2.3or from one ski area to another;
2.4(4) ski trails that have, fall away, or drop off toward natural or manmade obstacles or
2.5hazards including, but not limited to, sharp corners, ridges, jumps, bumps, rollers, moguls,
2.6valleys, dips, compressions, cliffs, ravines, drop-offs, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, stream
2.7beds, open water or water with thin ice, holes, steep sections, flat sections, and uphill
2.8sections, and all variants and combinations thereof;
2.9(5) the potential for collision with other skiers, spectators, or persons, including ski
2.10area personnel, or with equipment such as ski area infrastructure, and stationary or moving
2.11ski area vehicles, not including a collision:
2.12(i) that is caused by the failure of the ski area operator to comply with the
2.13requirements of this chapter; or
2.14(ii) with ski area vehicles, ski area infrastructure, or ski area personnel that could
2.15not have been avoided by a reasonably prudent skier who complies with the requirements
2.16of this chapter;
2.17(6) the location, construction, design, layout, configuration, and condition of ski
2.18trails, freestyle terrain, competition terrain, and tree skiing areas;
2.19(7) that use of ski trails, freestyle terrain, competition terrain, and tree skiing areas
2.20and participation in or being near races or other competitions or events, including but not
2.21limited to participation as a skier, employee, spectator or observer, involves the risk of
2.22serious injury to person or property or death; and
2.23(8) any other equivalent, comparable, or similar conditions or risks not referenced in
2.24clauses (1) through (7).
2.25 Subd. 6. Freestyle terrain. "Freestyle terrain" means terrain that includes, but is
2.26not limited to, terrain parks and terrain park features such as rails, boxes, jumps, hits,
2.27jibs, tabletops, spines, ramps, banks, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, picnic tables, logs, pipes,
2.28snowcross terrain and features, and other constructed or natural features, but does not
2.29include moguls, bumps or rollers, or jumps not built by the ski area operator, unless they
2.30are within a designated terrain park area.
2.31 Subd. 7. Qualified lift inspector. "Qualified lift inspector" means a person
2.32knowledgeable of the requirements of the ANSI Ski Lift Code and the design and
2.33operation of ski lifts who is either a professional engineer registered in any state or
2.34territory of the United States or who has been or is engaged as a lift inspector for an
2.35insurance company that provides or has provided insurance coverage to any ski area.
3.1 Subd. 8. Ski area. "Ski area" means all ski trails or other areas of real property used
3.2by skiers that is administered as a single enterprise by a ski area operator.
3.3 Subd. 9. Ski area infrastructure. "Ski area infrastructure" means the following
3.4when the infrastructure is owned, leased, or operated by a ski area operator:
3.5(1) ski lifts and any associated components including, but not limited to, lift towers,
3.6concrete tower foundations, tower bolts, tower ladders, lift terminals, chairs, t-bars,
3.7gondolas, conveyors, and other structures relating to ski lifts;
3.8(2) snowmaking equipment;
3.9(3) buildings, shacks, fixtures, furniture, and other structures, including utility
3.10infrastructure, located on the ski area property; and
3.11(4) signs, fences, ropes, flags, posts, and any other materials or structures used for
3.12posting signs or to manage or direct skiers and spectators.
3.13 Subd. 10. Ski area operator. "Ski area operator" means any entity or person that
3.14has responsibility for the operations of a ski area and the owners, partners and members,
3.15managers, employees, agents, and affiliates and assigns of the entity or person.
3.16 Subd. 11. Ski area vehicles. "Ski area vehicles" means vehicles owned, leased, or
3.17operated by a ski area operator that are used in the operation and maintenance of ski areas
3.18and competitions or used in the transportation of skiers or other persons within the ski area.
3.19 Subd. 12. Skier. "Skier" means an individual of any age or physical or mental ability
3.20who is engaged in skiing, or is a spectator while any individuals are engaged in skiing.
3.21 Subd. 13. Spectator or observer. "Spectator" or "observer" means an individual
3.22who is present on a ski trail for the purpose of observing a competition or observing or
3.23accompanying a skier engaged in the act of skiing.
3.24 Subd. 14. Skiing. "Skiing" means:
3.25(1) using a ski trail or other terrain at or near a ski area for sliding, jumping,
3.26walking, or traveling for alpine, snowboarding, telemark, snowshoeing or nordic skiing,
3.27tobogganing, sledding, or tubing, or use of a minibob, tray, snowbike, or comparable
3.29(2) being a passenger on a ski lift.
3.30 Subd. 15. Ski lift. "Ski lift" means any chairlift, gondola, tramway, cable car, or
3.31other aerial lift and any rope tow, conveyor, t-bar, j-bar, handle tow, or other surface
3.32lift used by a ski area operator to transport skiers, tubing participants, spectators, or
3.33pedestrians at a ski area.
3.34 Subd. 16. Designated ski trail; ski trail; trail. "Designated ski trail," "ski trail," or
3.35"trail" means any slope, trail, run, freestyle terrain, competition terrain, tree skiing areas,
3.36and tubing park areas or any other area at or near a ski area that is used by skiers for skiing
4.1as designated by the trail map required in section 184C.03, and includes edges, transition
4.2areas to other terrain, and areas used for loading and unloading ski lifts.
4.3 Subd. 17. Snowmaking equipment. "Snowmaking equipment" means any
4.4snowmaking machine, snow gun, snow or water stick and any associated towers,
4.5components, pipe, hydrant, hose, or other structures.
4.6 Subd. 18. Tubing park. "Tubing park" means an area designated by a ski area
4.7operator for sliding on inflatable tubes, minibobs, sleds, toboggans, or any comparable
4.8devices down a prepared course or lanes at a ski area.
Sec. 3. [184C.03] SKI AREA OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES.
4.10 Subdivision 1. Required signage; notice of risks. (a) Each ski area shall post and
4.11maintain a reasonably visible sign at least six square feet in size at or near each of the
4.12ski area's ticket sales buildings that states:
4.13"WARNING: ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AND LIABILITY FOR INJURY:
4.14Under the Minnesota Ski Safety Act, a skier is deemed to have accepted and to have
4.15knowledge of the risk of injury to person or property that may result. Under this act, every
4.16skier has the responsibility to take precautions necessary to avoid injury to person or
4.17property. The Minnesota Ski Safety Act sets forth certain other limitations on the liability
4.18of ski areas for injuries to person or property or death of skiers. A complete copy of this
4.19act is available for review in the ticket sales or customer service area of this ski area. An
4.20action for any injury to person or property or death against a ski area operator shall be
4.21commenced within two years after the incident or earliest of incidents giving rise to the
4.22action and shall be preceded by a notice of intent to file a claim, sent via certified or
4.23registered mail, return receipt requested, that is received by the ski area operator within
4.24180 days of such incident. The notice shall include the time, place, and circumstances
4.25of the incident, the names of the individuals known to be involved or known to have
4.26witnessed the incident, and the amount of compensation or other relief demanded."
4.27(b) Each ski area ticket sales building shall provide a copy of the skier responsibility
4.28code as published by the National Ski Areas Association, and a copy of this chapter
4.29in its entirety, to any skier upon request.
4.30 Subd. 2. Required notice; tickets and season passes. Every ski area shall print on
4.31each ticket or season pass issued by the ski area for skiing the following statement:
4.32"WARNING: Under the Minnesota Ski Safety Act, each skier:
4.33(1) assumes the risk of injury to person or property or death resulting from conditions
4.34and risks deemed to be inherent to this recreational activity;
4.35(2) has a number of responsibilities to adhere to while skiing; and
5.1(3) is subject to limitations on the ability to recover damages against a ski area
5.2operator for injuries to person or property or death of a skier.
5.3A complete copy of this act, and the skier responsibility code published by the
5.4National Ski Areas Association, is available for review in the ticket sales or customer
5.5service area of this ski area. An action for any injury to person or property or death against
5.6a ski area operator shall be commenced within two years after the incident or earliest
5.7of incidents giving rise to the actions and shall be preceded by a notice of intent to file
5.8a claim, sent via certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, that is received
5.9by the ski area operator within 180 days of such incident. The notice shall include the
5.10time, place, and circumstances of the incident, the names of the individuals known to be
5.11involved or known to have witnessed the incident, and the amount of compensation or
5.12other relief demanded."
5.13 Subd. 3. Required signage; difficulty levels. (a) Every ski area operator shall
5.14install and maintain at or near the beginning of each designated ski trail a sign that
5.15contains the name of the trail and any of the applicable difficulty level words and emblems
5.16contained in this subdivision, as determined by the ski area operator. The sign must be at
5.17least six square feet in size if the ski area encompasses 150 acres or more, and at least
5.18three square feet in size if the ski area encompasses less than 150 acres. As applicable,
5.19the signs shall state:
5.20(1) "Easiest," and include a green circle emblem;
5.21(2) "Difficult" or "More Difficult," and include a blue square emblem;
5.22(3) "Most Difficult," and include a black diamond emblem;
5.23(4) "Expert" or "Extreme Terrain," and include a two black diamond emblem;
5.24(5) "Freestyle Terrain," and include an orange oval emblem; or
5.25(6) "Tree skiing - CAUTION," designed with an orange background color or orange
5.26lettering with black or white background, and the additional statement "This back country
5.27is not groomed or patrolled - Never ski alone."
5.28(b) Directional arrows may be included on any sign, but must be included if the sign
5.29is located at such a distance or position relative to the beginning of a trail that it would not
5.30be understandable by a reasonably prudent skier without directional arrows.
5.31 Subd. 4. Trail maps. (a) Each ski area operator shall provide trail maps at least
5.32eight inches by 11 inches in unfolded size. The maps must be easily accessible to skiers.
5.33(b) If the designated ski trails encompass more than 150 acres, the operator shall
5.34post at least one reasonably visible trail map board at least 32 square feet in size at, near,
5.35or en route to the principal chalet.
6.1(c) All trail maps shall indicate the skill level designations for each respective trail
6.2consistent with the standards provided in subdivision 3.
6.3 Subd. 5. Freestyle terrain. (a) A ski area operator must construct a barricade
6.4through fencing, flagging, or similar means at the entrance to any ski trail containing
6.5freestyle terrain. The barricade must contain an entrance opening not wider than 30 feet.
6.6(b) The ski area operator shall post at or near the route to the entrance a reasonably
6.7visible sign at least three square feet in size that indicates the location of the freestyle
6.8terrain. The sign shall be denoted by an orange oval emblem, a stop sign emblem,
6.9the statement "Freestyle Skills Required," and either "Helmets are recommended"
6.10or "Consider wearing a helmet." The sign shall also include any freestyle language
6.11recommended by the National Ski Areas Association.
6.12 Subd. 6. Tubing park. (a) Each ski area operator that operates a tubing park shall
6.13install and maintain reasonably visible signs at least six square feet in size, as follows:
6.14(1) at or near or on the route to the loading area of the tubing park ski lift or entrance
6.15to the tubing park, a sign that includes the statement:
6.16"WARNING: Under the Minnesota Ski Safety Act, each participant and rider in
6.17a tubing park:
6.18(1) assumes the risk of injury to person or property or death resulting from conditions
6.19and risks deemed to be inherent to this recreational activity;
6.20(2) has a number of responsibilities to adhere to while tubing; and
6.21(3) is subject to limitations on the ability to recover damages against the tubing
6.22operator area in the event of injury to person or property or death.
6.23A complete copy of this act is available for review in the ticket sales or customer
6.24service area of this tubing park. An action for any injury to person or property or death
6.25against a ski area operator shall be commenced within two years after the incident or
6.26earliest of incidents giving rise to the actions and shall be preceded by a notice of intent to
6.27file a claim, sent via certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, that is received
6.28by the ski area operator within 180 days of such incident. The notice shall include the
6.29time, place, and circumstances of the incident, the names of the individuals known to
6.30be involved or known to have witnessed the incident, and the amount of compensation
6.31or other relief demanded."; and
6.32(2) at or near the route to the loading area of the tubing park ski lift or the entrance to
6.33the tubing park, a sign that includes the statement:
6.34"WARNING: TUBING PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITIES: Under the Minnesota
6.35Ski Safety Act, each tubing park participant or rider is responsible for:
7.1(1) knowing the range of one's ability to negotiate and control one's speed down the
7.2tubing area and observing all posted information, signs, and other warnings;
7.3(2) assessing the surface conditions, layout, steepness, and difficulty of the tubing
7.4trail by observing the trail and descent of other riders and participants;
7.5(3) tubing within one's ability and maintaining control of speed and direction at all
7.6times by such steps as dragging one's feet and observing limits on weight and the number
7.7of other riders on the same tube; and
7.8(4) attaining the knowledge and ability to safely load, ride, and unload the tubing
7.9park ski lift before boarding such lift and to not load or unload from such lift except at
7.11(b) A ski area operator may also comply with this subdivision by maintaining
7.12one sign of at least 12 square feet in size at or near the route to the loading area of the
7.13tubing park ski lift or entrance to the tubing park that contains both warnings provided in
7.15 Subd. 7. Lift signs. (a) If any of the ski lifts at a ski area do not service ski trails that
7.16are designated by the ski area operator as "easier," the ski area operator shall place at, near,
7.17or on the route to the loading area of the lift a reasonably visible sign at least six square
7.18feet in size that states the following statement:
7.19"WARNING: This lift does not service any trails that are "easier" (green circle
7.20emblem); all of the trails serviced by this lift are (as applicable) "more difficult" (blue
7.21square emblem), "most difficult" (black square emblem), "expert" (two black diamond
7.22emblem), or "freestyle terrain" (orange emblem)."
7.23(b) This subdivision does not apply to tubing areas.
7.24 Subd. 8. Ski area vehicles. (a) All ski area vehicles present on designated ski trails
7.25that are open to skiers during operating hours of the ski lifts at a ski area must have an
7.26operating flashing light on or near the top of the vehicle whenever the vehicle is present
7.27on a designated ski trail. All snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and any other similarly
7.28sized vehicles present on designated ski trails that are open to skiers during operating
7.29hours of the ski lifts at a ski area must, in addition, have a red or orange flag that is at least
7.3040 square inches in size and mounted at least five feet from the bottom of the tracks or
7.31tires while the vehicle is present on a designated ski trail.
7.32(b) A ski area operator is not liable for injury to person or property or death resulting
7.33from a collision with a ski area vehicle equipped as in paragraph (a) that is not on a
7.34designated ski trail, or with a ski area vehicle when a designated ski trail is closed to skiers.
7.35 Subd. 9. Variations of signs. A ski area operator may vary from the specific
7.36requirements set forth in this section related to posting of signs, provided that a reasonably
8.1prudent skier abiding by all of the skier's responsibilities would be able to find and
8.2understand the sign.
8.3 Subd. 10. Ski lift inspections. (a) During or prior to each ski season, but at least
8.4once every 15 months, each ski area operator shall have all ski lifts in the operator's
8.5ski area inspected by a qualified lift inspector for compliance with the requirements of
8.6the ANSI Ski Lift Code.
8.7(b) A ski area operator shall not be considered a common carrier under Minnesota
8.8law, but shall be responsible for any injury to person or property, or death of a skier
8.9sustained in a ski lift accident, if such incident is caused by the operator's failure to
8.10comply with any mandatory provision of the ANSI Ski Lift Code or the ski area operator's
8.12 Subd. 11. Accessibility of information. The information required to be maintained
8.13on a sign, trail map, ticket, or season pass under this section must be provided in an
8.14accessible format to persons with disabilities upon request.
Sec. 4. [184C.04] SKIER RESPONSIBILITIES; LIMITED OPERATOR
8.17 Subdivision 1. Duties of skiers. (a) A skier at all times has a duty to comply
8.18with each element of the skier responsibility code published by the National Ski Areas
8.19Association and posted at the ski area, and a duty to exercise reasonable care in skiing. A
8.20skier shall be presumed to have seen and understood all postings, signs, and other warnings
8.21provided by the ski area operator consistent with the requirements of this chapter.
8.22(b) A person who engages in the act of skiing and is not authorized by the ski area
8.23operator to use or be present at the ski area is a trespasser.
8.24 Subd. 2. Helmets. It is the responsibility of each skier to determine whether to wear
8.25a helmet and to properly size, fit, and secure the helmet. Each skier is presumed as a
8.26matter of law to know and assume the risk that failure to wear a helmet that is properly
8.27sized, fit, and secured increases the risk of injury or death or the risk of a more severe
8.28injury, and that helmets may not always be available for purchase or rental at ski areas.
8.29 Subd. 3. Release of liability. Notwithstanding any other law, in any action brought
8.30by a skier against a ski area operator, if the skier has signed a valid release of liability,
8.31such release shall be effective so long as it is not ambiguous.
8.32Nothing in this section shall be construed as releasing a ski area operator for
8.33damages caused by gross negligence or reckless or intentional acts.
8.34 Subd. 4. Assumption of risks. (a) A skier assumes knowledge of all conditions and
8.35risks of skiing, even if a particular risk or condition was not specifically presented or stated
9.1by the ski area operator to the skier. A ski area operator who substantially adheres to the
9.2requirements of this chapter is not subject to liability for injury to or death of a person, or
9.3injury to property occurring as a result of the conditions and risks of skiing.
9.4(b) A court shall interpret this subdivision, and the definitions provided in section
9.5184C.02, broadly. Whether a particular circumstance or set of circumstances meets the
9.6definition of "conditions and risks of skiing" shall be determined as a question of law.
Sec. 5. [184C.05] STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS; NOTICE OF CLAIM.
9.8An action for any injury to skier or property or death against a ski area operator shall
9.9be commenced within two years after the incident or earliest of incidents giving rise to
9.10the action and shall be preceded by a notice of intent to file a claim, sent via certified or
9.11registered mail, return receipt requested, that is received by the ski area operator within
9.12180 days of such incident. The notice shall include the time, place, and circumstances
9.13of the incident, the names of the individuals known to be involved and known to have
9.14witnessed the incident, and the amount of compensation or other relief demanded.
Sec. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
9.16This act is effective August 1, 2012 and applies to all actions arising out of incidents
9.17occurring on or after that date.