VAIL — It’s just more than 540 days until the opening ceremonies for the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships. While there’s plenty of work left, much has been accomplished.
Ceil Folz, Vail Valley Foundation’s president, presented the Vail Town Council with an update Tuesday about planning for the championships, set for Feb. 2-15, 2015. The biggest job is fundraising and sponsor-finding. Folz said about $50 million of the $58 million budget for the event has been secured. The rest of the funding needs to be found in the next six months or so, she said.
Beyond fundraising, a lot of the event’s costs will be covered by sponsors. Folz said four of the seven primary sponsors have signed on, and the foundation wants to have the final three lined up in the next year or so.
Audi is the “presenting” sponsor, and other international companies have also signed on, but Folz said Foundation officials want “a couple” of U.S.-based sponsors to make up the final three.
Beyond money, Folz said the Foundation has also lined up a TV crew for 2015 — the company that provided TV coverage for this year’s championships in Schladming, Austria. Having daytime races in the U.S. will mean the events will run live during prime time in Europe, Folz said.
To help fine-tune the race courses at Beaver Creek, Folz said there will be a women’s World Cup speed race after Thanksgiving in addition to the annual Birds of Prey men’s event.
“There’s no place else in the world that would be doing these races the first week of December,” she said.
Those races will also be the only World Cup events in this country before the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Folz said volunteer recruitment for the championships will start next week, and a public “countdown clock” will start running in February 2014, a year away from the championships.
Since Vail isn’t getting any of the major races in 2015, council members wanted to ensure there will still be plenty of action in Vail. Mayor Andy Daly asked about the finish stadium at Golden Peak, site of the opening ceremonies.
Folz said the finish stadium there will also be a viewing area for races, with fans able to watch big video screens.
“We could use more of the town,” Folz said. “Right now the landmark piece is Golden Peak, but there’s a great opportunity at Solaris, too.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2939 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.