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While it seemed like a good idea for a hilly winter ski resort to pivot to a “gravity” mountain-biking course in the greener summer months, the notion was a crash course in risk management for a Wisconsin company that was forced to halt operations due to insurability.
As posted on its Instagram page, Little Switzerland in Slinger made the decision to close its off-season operation after its insurance company dropped coverage of the 10-year-old bike park, stating that “alternative insurance options would not make the park economically viable moving forward.”
After facing backlash, including fans stating they wish to boycott the unnamed insurer, the owners chimed in, thanking fans for support and stating that it “had options, including a higher rate applied to our entire business, or to insure the bike park separately.”
“The hard reality is that this extra premium wipes out the small profit the bike park generated, while still exposing us to the risk of nuclear verdicts beyond our insurance coverage. Unfortunately, the risk is not worth the reward,” the owners wrote. “Mountain biking and skiing do not carry the same level of risk. Our incident rate is significantly higher in gravity mountain biking than in skiing. Your sport carries risk… and a significant amount of it. Almost all of you reading this post understand and assume responsibility for it. Unfortunately, not everyone does.”