2011 WISCONSIN ACT 199
An Act to amend 101.12 (1) (c), 101.19 (1) (b), 101.981 (1) (c) and 895.525 (2); and to create 101.19 (1) (bm), 167.33 and 895.526 of the statutes;
relating to: duties of ski area operators and participants in snow sports, liability of ski area operators, and granting rule-making authority.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
101.12 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
101.12 (1) (c) Elevators, escalators, ski lift and towing devices lifts, as defined in s. 167.33 (1) (f), and power dumbwaiters.
101.19 (1) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
101.19 (1) (b) The required inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, refrigeration plants, liquefied petroleum gas vessels, anhydrous ammonia tanks and containers, ski lift and towing devices, escalators, dumbwaiters, and amusement or thrill rides but not of amusement attractions.
101.19 (1) (bm) of the statutes is created to read:
101.19 (1) (bm) The inspection by the department of lifts, as defined in s. 167.33 (1) (f).
101.981 (1) (c) "Conveyance" means an elevator, an escalator, a dumbwaiter, a belt manlift, a moving walkway, a platform lift, and a stairway chair lift, and any other similar device, such as an automated people mover, used to elevate or move people or things, as provided in the rules of the department. "Conveyance" does not include a personnel hoist; a material hoist; a grain elevator; a lift or towing device as defined in s. 167.33 (1) (f); an amusement or thrill ride; or a vertical platform lift, inclined platform lift, or a stairway chair lift that serves an individual residential dwelling unit.
167.33 of the statutes is created to read:
167.33 Snow sports. (1)
Definitions. In this section:
(a) "Affiliate" means:
1. With respect to a partnership, each partner thereof.
2. With respect to a limited liability company, each member thereof.
3. With respect to a corporation, each officer, director, principal stockholder, and controlling member thereof.
(b) "Competition" means any event authorized by a ski area operator, or by an agent of a ski area operator, that involves a comparison of skills used in one or more snow sports. "Competition" includes training sessions for such an event.
(c) "Freestyle features" means man-made features that include boxes, jumps, hits, jibs, tabletops, spikes, take-off ramps, landings, banks, half pipes, picnic tables, logs, and pipes.
(d) "Freestyling" means mogul jumping, mogul skiing, ski jumping, aerial skiing, ski cross, ski ballet, snowboarding, and any other similar snow sport.
(e) "Hazard" means any man-made or natural obstacle or hazard. "Hazard" includes ridges, sharp corners, jumps, bumps, moguls, valleys, dips, cliffs, ravines, and bodies of water.
(f) "Lift" means any aerial tramway or lift, a surface lift, a tow, or a conveyor used by a ski area operator to transport participants in snow sports at a ski area.
(g) "Participant in a snow sport" means an individual who is engaged in a snow sport or who is walking or otherwise traveling within a ski area for purposes of engaging in the sport. "Participant in a snow sport" also means an individual who is present at a ski area to observe others engaged in a snow sport or who is a passenger on a lift. "Participant in a snow sport" includes an individual that is an employee of a ski area operator when he or she is acting outside the scope of his or her employment.
(h) "Ski area" means trails, terrains, and other outdoor areas that are used by individuals engaged in snow sports and that is administered as a single enterprise by a ski area operator.
(i) "Ski area infrastructure" means lifts and any associated components, snowmaking equipment and any associated components, and utility structures, buildings, huts, signs, lift mazes, fences, or other structures located within a ski area.
(j) "Ski area operator" means a person that owns or is responsible for operating a ski area or its affiliates. "Ski area operator" includes the employees and agents of a ski area operator.
(k) "Ski area vehicle" means a motorized vehicle used in the operation and maintenance of a ski area or used as transportation within a ski area.
(L) "Skiing" means downhill skiing, alpine skiing, nordic skiing, cross-country skiing, telemarking, snowshoeing, or snowboarding.
(m) "Sledding" means sliding down a prepared course on sleds, toboggans, ski bikes, or comparable devices. "Sledding" excludes tubing.
(n) "Snowmaking equipment" includes pipes, hoses, hydrants, snow guns, fans, wands, pumps, and any other equipment associated with making snow.
(o) "Snow sport" means skiing, sledding, tubing, or freestyling.
(p) "Tree skiing area" means an area open to skiing, that is not groomed for skiing, and that is forested.
(q) "Tubing" means sliding down a prepared course on inflatable tubes, minibobs, or comparable devices.
(2) Conditions and risks of snow sports. For purposes of this section, conditions and risks consist of all of the following:
(a) Changes in weather or visibility.
(b) The presence of surface or subsurface conditions, including any of the following:
1. Snow, ice, crust, slush, soft spots, holes, grooves, bare spots, cuts, rocks, boulders, or tracks from ski area vehicles.
2. Forest growth or debris, including stumps, logs, or brush.
(c) Ridges, sharp corners, bumps, moguls, valleys, rollers, dips, cliffs, ravines, and double fall lines.
(d) Variations in the difficulty of terrain, surface conditions, or subsurface conditions on a single trail or terrain or among trails or terrains that are designated the same level of difficulty at the ski area or at another ski area.
(e) The risk of injury or death on trails and terrains that fall away or drop off toward hazards.
(f) The risk of collision with other participants in snow sports, employees of a ski area operator, or ski area infrastructure.
(g) Variation in the location, construction, configuration, or steepness of trails or terrains.
(h) The greater risk of collision, injury, or death in treed areas, in areas where competitions are held, and in areas where freestyling is allowed.
(3) Duties of ski area operators; signage; notice. (a) Notice on tickets required. Each ski area operator shall print on each ticket or season pass that it issues to participants in snow sports the following warning:
"WARNING: Under Wisconsin law, each participant in a snow sport assumes the risk of injury or death to person or injury to property resulting from the conditions and risks that are considered to be inherent in a snow sport, has a number of duties that must be met while engaging in a snow sport, and is subject to limitations on the ability to recover damages from a ski area operator for injuries or death to a person or to property. A complete copy of this law is available for review at the main site where tickets to this ski area are sold."
(b) Signs required; generally. Each ski area operator shall post and maintain a sign that is at least 10 square feet in size at or near each of the sites where tickets to the ski area are sold, at or near each of the entrances or lift loading areas for areas that are open to snow sports, and at or near each area open to sledding or tubing which is not served by a lift. The sign shall contain the following warning:
"WARNING — ASSUMPTION OF RISKS: Under Wisconsin law, each participant in a snow sport is considered to have accepted and to have knowledge of the risk of injury or death to person or injury to property that may result. Under Wisconsin law, each participant in a snow sport has the duty to take the precautions that are necessary to avoid injury or death to person or injury to property. Wisconsin law sets forth certain other limitations on the liability of ski area operators for injuries or death to person or injury to property. A complete copy of this law is available for review at the main site where tickets to this ski area are sold."
(c) Copies of law. Each ski area operator shall post and maintain a current copy of all of the provisions of this section at the main site where tickets to the ski area are sold and shall make a copy of it for any individual upon request.
(d) Signs required; skiing or sledding areas. In addition to the sign required under par. (b), each ski area operator shall post and maintain a sign that is at least 10 square feet in size at or near each entrance to a loading area of a lift that serves areas open to skiing or sledding. The sign shall contain the following warning:
"WARNING — DUTIES OF INDIVIDUALS ENGAGED IN SKIING OR SLEDDING: Under Wisconsin law, each individual engaged in skiing or sledding has a duty to do all of the following:
1. Obey all posted warnings and signs.
2. Keep off of closed trails and out of closed areas.
3. Know the range of his or her ability and engage in skiing or sledding within that ability.
4. Assess the difficulty of the trails and terrains that are open to skiing or sledding.
5. Maintain control of his or her speed and direction.
6. Be able to stop or avoid other individuals or objects.