World ski congress receives Vail Valley update
Ryan Summerlin June 8, 2012
EAGLE COUNTY – A trio of local residents recently gave International Ski Federation officials an update on the progress of the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek.
The delegation – Ceil Folz and John Dakin of the Vail Valley Foundation and John Garnsey of Vail Resorts – talked about work that’s been done so far to organize the championships to the federation’s “congress,” held May 26 – June 2 in Gangwon Province, South Korea.
“We’re in good shape,” Folz said. “We’re where we should be, and we’re ahead of schedule in some areas.
Some of the to-do items getting done early include starting work on a new women’s downhill course at Beaver Creek – set to start work in the next few weeks. The layout of that course has generated quite a bit of excitement with international skiing officials, Folz said.
The 2015 event already has its race sites set, as well as the schedule, and Folz said she expects to have a deal for international broadcast rights in place in the next 60 days or so.
The Foundation already has a firm list of venues for off-mountain events from award ceremonies to press-credit headquarters.
All those items are being checked off the list somewhere between 12 and 18 months ahead of time, Folz said.
The broadcast-rights deal is especially important, Folz said, since that deal will provide a major source of funding for the event.
Another big item on the list is creating a transportation plan for the event. That’s going to be crucial, with races at Beaver Creek and ski teams staying in Vail. Most of the off-mountain events are set for Vail, too.
“We need that to be a seamless experience,” Folz said.
While the congress was a chance to update most of the world’s skiing community on the progress of the 2015 event, Dakin said some of the top officials had received much of the same briefing before the congress event in Korea.
But even when there isn’t a world championships to present to the congress, Dakin said Foundation officials go to nearly every FIS gathering.
“Dating back to 1983, when the World Cup races returned to Vail, we’ve always felt the need to be at the major (Federation) events,” Dakin said.
Besides the championships, the Vail Valley hosts the Birds of Prey, a men’s alpine World Cup event, annually. Along with women’s races in Aspen, those are the only alpine skiing World Cup tour stops in the United States.
“Making sure we have a voice and vote in other matters is as important as the championships,” Dakin said. “We need to be there to represent ski racing here.”
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