Vermont Resort Owners Fight Class Action over Investor Passes

April 15, 2008

Four skiers suing Killington Resort in Vermont over so-called “lifetime” passes are seeking class action status for their suit, but the current and former owners oppose it.

Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners, the new owner, says it’s under no obligation to honor what it calls “investor passes,” which it says are no longer valid because the original issuer — Sherburne Corp. — no longer exists.

Last month, pass holders Martin Post, Jill Post, Judith Dark and William Langlais asked the court to certify their lawsuit as a class action on behalf of the 1,243 lifetime passholders.

They say the case merits handling as a class action, since it’s unlikely the individual skiers would press their claims if it’s not certified as such.

Last May, Powdr Corp. of Park City, Utah, and SP Land Co. of Dallas bought the assets of Killington and adjacent Pico resorts from American Skiing Co. — which also used to own Maine’s Sugarloaf and Sunday River ski areas — for $85.2 million. Powdr operates the resorts as Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners.

SP Land Co. is a real estate investment company that hopes to build a ski village at Killington.

The skiers’ lawsuit seeks to force Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners to either honor the passes or pay damages.

The passes at issue were sold in the 1950s and 1960s as an inducement to investors. One kind could be transferred or sold once a year; the other could be transferred or sold only once. A third class consists of people who bought a pass from one of the two others.

Lawyers for the four pass holders want Killington’s owners to give them the names and addresses of the 1,243 pass holders, which plaintiffs’ attorney Mitchell Pearl says is needed to calculate monetary damages.


Information from: Rutland Herald,

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