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Memorandum in opposition of motion to dismiss lawsuit between Wasatch Eqaulity and Alta

Memorandum in opposition of motion to dismiss lawsuit between Wasatch Eqaulity and Alta

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Published by Ben Winslow
A memorandum filed by the group Wasatch Equality seeking to keep their lawsuit alive against the federal government and Alta Ski Resort over its snowboard ban
A memorandum filed by the group Wasatch Equality seeking to keep their lawsuit alive against the federal government and Alta Ski Resort over its snowboard ban

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Published by: Ben Winslow on May 17, 2014
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02/16/2015

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Jonathan R. Schofield (8274) Michael S. Anderson (13976) Rachel L. Wertheimer (13893) P
ARR
B
ROWN
G
EE
&
 
L
OVELESS
 185 South State Street, Suite 800 Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Telephone (801) 532-7840 Facsimile (801) 532-7750
 Attorneys for Plaintiffs
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION
WASATCH EQUALITY, a Utah Nonprofit Corporation; RICK ALDEN, an individual; DREW HICKEN, an individual; BJORN LEINES, an individual; and RICHARD VARGA, an individual, Plaintiffs, v. ALTA SKI LIFTS COMPANY, a Utah Corporation d/b/a ALTA SKI AREA; THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture; and DAVID WHITTEKIEND, in his official capacity as Forest Service Supervisor in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Defendants.
COMBINED MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO BOTH DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Case No. 2:14-CV-00026 DB Judge Dee Benson (ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED) Plaintiffs Wasatch Equality, Rick Alden, Drew Hicken, Bjorn Leines, and Richard Varga (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), through their undersigned counsel, respectfully submit this Combined
Case 2:14-cv-00026-DB Document 29 Filed 05/13/14 Page 1 of 53
 
Memorandum in Opposition to Both Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, responding simultaneously to each Motion to Dismiss (“Motion” or, collectively, “Motions”) filed separately  by Defendant Alta Ski Lifts Company (“Alta”) and by Defendants United States Forest Service (“USFS”) and David Whittekiend (“USFS Supervisor”) (The USFS and USFS Supervisor may  be referred to collectively as the “Government,” or collectively with Alta as “Defendants.”).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2
Case 2:14-cv-00026-DB Document 29 Filed 05/13/14 Page 2 of 53
 
I. INTRODUCTION
At nearly every ski resort in the world, skiers and snowboarders coexist and thrive together. This was illustrated on the recent cover of the November 2013 Freeskier Magazine, featuring a photograph of three professional athletes, two skiers and a snowboarder, who had the following to say in the corresponding article:
 
“I enjoy riding with snowboarders a lot. I think it really helps diversify your skiing to see it from a different perspective. . . . Sometimes egos get in the way with the whole skier/snowboarder thing, but in my eyes we all do the same thing for the same reasons.” – Jossi Wells (professional skier)
 
“I’ve never had a problem with skiers, it makes no difference to me what’s on your feet. What matters is what kind of person you are. . . . We all share a similar passion, why not do it in peace.” – Johnnie Paxson (professional snowboarder)
 
“Ski/snowboard beef is so 2000.” – Gus Kenworthy (professional skier) [Comp. ¶ 7 (quoting
 Freeskier Magazine
 (Nov. 2013).] These sentiments apparently do not resonate at Alta, which has created, fostered, and encouraged hostile and divisive skier-versus-snowboarder attitudes by adopting and enforcing an anti-snowboarder policy and snowboarding ban (“Ban”). Adopted as a result of animus, stereotypes, and other illegitimate considerations harbored by Alta against the type of people  believed to constitute snowboarders as a group, the Ban arbitrarily deprives individuals of their right to access public land at Alta on the same terms as all others that are similarly situated. Alta is one of only three ski resorts worldwide that prohibits snowboarding, and the only resort that does so on public land. Alta exists solely by the grace of the Government, operating under a USFS Ski Area Term Special Use Permit (“Permit”) that mandates “the lands and waters covered by this permit shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes.” [
 Id.
 ¶¶ 47, 53 3
Case 2:14-cv-00026-DB Document 29 Filed 05/13/14 Page 3 of 53

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