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SALT LAKE CITY — One of the owners of a Utah ski resort is defending its reputation as a skier's mountain after the resort was sued over allegations that it uses national forest land to discriminate against snowboarders.

David Quinney calls the Alta Ski Area east of Salt Lake City "forbidden fruit" for snowboarders for reasons of safety and customer preference. Skiers' chief complaint is that snowboarders have a blind spot that multiplies the odds of a collision.

Alta is one of the last remaining U.S. resorts that ban snowboarding, along with Utah's Deer Valley and Mad River Glen in Vermont.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday says four snowboarders bought tickets at Alta but were turned away at the chairlift.

One of them used a "splitboard" to poach a ride but was intercepted at the top and escorted down. Splitboards are snowboards that can be split into skis for ascending mountains in the backcountry.

— The Associated Press