After much debate, the Senate has voted 32-2 in favor of HB 462, which updates a ski area liability statute to include clauses about snowboarding, terrain parks, and in-bounds avalanches. Though some senators raised concerns that the measure went too far to absolve resort operators from liability – particularly in the case of in-bounds avalanches – others argued that the same level of liability protection already was set under the current law.
During the course of the debate, numerous senators had a chance to share stories about their skiing experiences. Among other things, listeners learned that Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, is a former explosives-wielding ski patroller, and Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, who learned to ski 52 years ago, is a former ski instructor. The bill, proposed by the Idaho Ski Areas Association, now goes to Gov. Butch Otter.