Utah shuts down giant rope swing business

Feb. 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM

MOAB, Utah, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Utah state officials have banned commercial swinging from the Corona Arch rock formation near Moab, calling it a liability.

The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration on Jan. 17 told an outfitter it could no longer take customers to the arch and allow them to ride a 250-foot pendulum swing, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"If people want to [chuck] themselves off a cliff or arch that's their business," said John Andrews, SITLA's general counsel. "There is a general principle that owners who hold their land open for recreational use are insulated from liability. We felt there was more risk [exposure to the state] if someone operated under a permit and someone got hurt."

Private parties interested in climbing, rappelling and even swinging from the Corona Arch are still allowed to do so, though, officials said.

"It's a bummer they closed it, but I can understand where they are coming from," said Thad James, owner of the Utah High Adventure outfitter in Sandy that reaped more than $200 a head for its exhilarating rope swing ride."If you don't do it exactly right you can die," James said of jumping from the arch.

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