Disabled man ordered off Deer Valley slopes for using teleboard
A disabled Connecticut man whose legs are not the same length as a result of injuries suffered in a 1980s motorcycle accident claims Deer Valley Resort ordered him off the slopes for using a device that appears to be one long ski known as a teleboard.
Thomas Travaglini, a 54-year-old from Darien, Conn., said he was at the resort on April 1 with five other people. He said a lift attendant asked him to stop for a moment. Deer Valley is a skier-only resort.
Travaglini said a resort staffer then asked the party to meet with another official at Deer Valley. He spoke to the official about the condition, but he was not allowed to remain on the mountain. He said a uniformed Deer Valley staffer took them down on a chairlift. The lift tickets were refunded and the group was escorted to the parking lot, he said.
Travaglini said he feels he is the victim of discrimination and he is considering filing complaint based on the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
"I was prepared to take my boot off, show him my condition," he said.
He said he was at Deer Valley during the last ski season using the same device without a problem. He used the teleboard at Alta, another skier-only resort, the day before he was escorted off Deer Valley’s slopes, he said.
Bob Wheaton, the president and general manager of Deer Valley, said the teleboard appears like it is a "modified snowboard." There are two bindings, one in front of the other, he said.
Wheaton said the resort afterward researched teleboards and contacted organizations like the National Ability Center, the National Ski Areas Association and a national organization dedicated to adaptive sports. He said the groups indicated a teleboard is not a typical or standard adaptive device.
Wheaton said the situation is under further evaluation.
"We have policies throughout the resort that we do not discriminate," Wheaton said.
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The Park City Police Department last week received at least two reports of collisions between drivers and wildlife and a likely report involving a similar incident.