Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions
6/27/2019

§ 8.01-227.12. Warnings and other winter sports area operator requirements.

A. Each winter sports area operator shall include the following warning on each ticket, season pass, and written contract for professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment to a winter sports participant and on each sign required by this subsection:

"WARNING: Under Virginia law, a ski area operator or other winter sports area operator is not liable for an injury to or death of a winter sports participant in a winter sport conducted at this location, or for damage to property, if such injury, death, or damage results from the inherent risks of the winter sport or from the participant's own negligence. The inherent risks of a winter sport include, among others, risks associated with the land, equipment, other participants, and animals, as well as the potential for you or another participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to the injury, death, or damage. You are assuming the inherent risks of participating in a winter sport at this location. Complete copies of the applicable Virginia law and the participant responsibility code published by the National Ski Areas Association are available for review at each ticket sales office of this winter sports area and online at [insert website for winter sports area]."

Every ticket, season pass, and written contract for professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment to a participant shall contain the warning required by this subsection in clearly readable print. Every sign required by this section shall contain the warning required by this subsection in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height. An operator also may print on a ticket; season pass; written contract for professional services, instruction, or rental of equipment to a participant; or any sign required by this section any additional warning it deems appropriate. The warning required by this section does not constitute a preinjury contractual release and nothing in this section alters the common law of Virginia with regard to preinjury contractual releases.

B. Each operator shall install and maintain a sign containing the warning set forth in subsection A (i) at each designated ticketing office, (ii) at each front desk at each building or facility at which guests check in, (iii) at or near each ticket sales office of the winter sports area, and (iv) at, near, or en route to the loading area of each passenger tramway.

C. Each operator shall install and maintain at or near the beginning of each designated trail a sign that contains the name of the trail and any of the applicable difficulty-level words and emblems contained in this subsection, as determined by the operator. Directional arrows may be included on any sign, but shall be included if the sign is located at such a distance or position relative to the beginning of a trail that it would not be understandable by a reasonably prudent participant without directional arrows. As applicable, the signs shall indicate: (i) "Easiest" and include a green circle emblem, (ii) "More Difficult" and include a blue square emblem, (iii) "Most Difficult" and include a black diamond emblem, (iv) "Expert" or "Extreme Terrain" and include a two black diamond emblem, (v) "Freestyle Terrain" and include an orange oval emblem, or (vi) "Closed" and include a border around a black figure in the shape of a skier inside with a band running diagonally across the sign.

D. Each operator shall install and maintain at, near, or en route to the loading area for each passenger tramway that does not service trails that are designated by the operator as "Easiest" a sign that includes the following warning:

"WARNING. This lift does not service any trails that are designated Easiest (green circle emblem). All of the trails serviced by this lift are designated [as applicable, More Difficult (blue square emblem), Most Difficult (black diamond emblem), Expert (two black diamond emblem), or Freestyle Terrain (orange oval emblem)]."

E. Each operator shall install and maintain at, near, or en route to the entrance to each trail containing freestyle terrain a sign that indicates the location of the freestyle terrain. Each sign shall be denoted by an orange oval emblem, a stop sign emblem, and the statements "Freestyle skills required" and "Helmets are recommended." Each sign also may include any other freestyle warning the operator deems appropriate.

F. Whenever trail grooming or snowmaking operations are being undertaken, or trail grooming equipment is being operated, on a trail that is at that time open to the public, the operator shall place or cause to be placed a sign to that effect at the top or beginning of the trail.

G. An operator may vary from the specific location requirements required by this section provided that the location is substantially the same as the location required by this section and that the sign is plainly visible to a reasonably prudent winter sports participant abiding by all of the participant's duties and responsibilities.

H. Each operator shall make available, by oral or written report or otherwise, information concerning the daily conditions of its trails.

I. Each operator that offers a winter sport at nighttime shall meet the lighting standards for that winter sport provided by Illuminating Engineering Society of North America RP-6-01, Sports and Recreational Area Lighting § 6.24, including any supplements thereto or revisions thereof.

J. Each operator shall, upon request, provide (i) a freestyler who holds a valid admission ticket to the winter sports area's freestyle terrain a reasonable opportunity to view the freestyle terrain and (ii) a competitor who has properly registered for the competition a reasonable opportunity to visually inspect the portion of the winter sports area designated by the operator for the competition.

K. Each operator shall provide a ski patrol and first-aid services.

L. Each operator shall make available on the winter sports area's website and at each ticket sales office of the winter sports area for review by any winter sports participant, upon request, a copy of the participant responsibility code posted and available at each winter sports area and a copy of this article.

2012, c. 713.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.