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Deer Valley Ski Resort discriminated against a handicapped man?

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A handicapped man claims he was discriminated against Monday at Deer Valley. The popular ski resort told him and his friends to leave, all because of what he was using to get down the mountain.
PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A handicapped man claims he was discriminated against Monday at Deer Valley. The popular ski resort told him and his friends to leave, all because of what he was using to get down the mountain.

"Basically they're telling me I'm not handicapped enough to ski there," said Thomas Travaglini, handicapped skier.

Thomas Travaglini said he can't believe how he was treated Monday at Deer Valley Ski Resort. Travaglini and his friends are in Park City on a ski trip from Connecticut. He may look like your average skier. But he can show you he's far from it.

"This leg is 5/8 of an inch shorter than the other, and I have no motion," said Travaglini.

A motorcycle accident left the bones in his right foot severely deformed. He tells ABC4 if he wants to ski he has to use a Teleboard, where both feet go one in front of the other on the same ski.

"I don't put hardly any weight on my rear foot at all," he said.

So Monday as he and his friends started skiing at Deer Valley, they got in one run before ski lift operators stopped him.

"When we got to the bottom of that run the lift attendant said, Could you wait here a minute?" said Travaglini.

Resort administrators inspected his ski, told him they don't accept boarders there, and kicked the group out.

"I tried to explain all this to Chuck and he didn't want to hear it, he didn't, wouldn't take any logical explanation for it," Travaglini said.

Travaglini wasn't only shocked, he felt discriminated against.

"I was embarrassed, annoyed and the reason I'm hear speaking to you is because I don't think they should be allowed to deny a handicap person access to the mountain," he said.

While ABC 4 was interviewing Travaglini, Deer Valley's General Manager called Reporter Brian Carlson on the phone. So Carlson handed it right over to Travaglini.

"I was really upset, I was really upset,” said Travaglini told the General Manager.

“I could understand that. I apologize," said Bob Wheaton, Deer Valley Ski Resort General Manager to Travaglini.

As the two spoke, Deer Valley agreed to take second look at Travaglini's ski, and readdress what happened.

"Do you have a more positive outlook now that you got a chance to talk to him?” Reporter Brian Carlson asked.

“Yah, talking to him makes me feel a little better than being escorted out like a criminal. Hopefully we can get together and work it out," Travaglini said.

Travaglini and his friends leave Tuesday afternoon. So it's uncertain whether or not Deer Valley will get in touch with him before they go. But from what the Resort is telling ABC 4 they plan to address this situation soon.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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