Steamboat Sues Visit Salt Lake and Four Utah Resorts

Claims “Ski City, USA” campaign infringes on “Ski Town, U.S.A.”

Steamboat has called itself "Ski Town, U.S.A." since 1959. (Ben Ramirez/Flickr)

Late last week, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation filed a complaint against Visit Salt Lake and four Salt Lake-area ski resorts with the Federal District Court for the District of Colorado to protect its “Ski Town, U.S.A.” trademark. The legal action comes in response to an advertising campaign that Visit Salt Lake launched in mid-September touting Salt Lake as “Ski City, USA.”

The four resorts involved in the campaign—Alta, Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird, all of which are a short drive away from Salt Lake City—were also named in the complaint. In Steamboat’s opinion, according to a press release issued earlier this morning, the similar sounding campaign “creates confusion and tries to take advantage of our registered trademark for their own commercial purposes.” 

Steamboat has been using the term “Ski Town, U.S.A.,” which dates back to 1959 and is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, since its inception in 1963. “We’re pretty vigilant about informing people when we think they’ve infringed on our trademark,” said Rob Perlman, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “We’ve sent cease-and-desist letters in the past, but this is the first time we’ve filed a complaint.”

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