Vail Daily letter: Turn down the music
Ryan Summerlin January 8, 2014
Dear Ceil Folz,
Kudos to you, your staff and the legion of volunteers who continue to bring great events to our valley. The Vail Valley Foundation’s contributions to this community are beyond measure. It greatly enhances our cultural fabric and all of us should be very grateful for your efforts. The World Cup races are something I really look forward to every year and I believe we are so fortunate to have them in our backyard.
Thank you for the recent commentary on the races as we look forward to 2015. You noted that this year’s races were a “test event” for the upcoming championships and indicated that overall things went well, but some things maybe needed some tweaking. One thing was blaringly different this year to me, that being the nonstop music playing during each race. It used to be we could hear the skiers coming down the hill over the P.A., accompanied by the commentary in the booth. The sound of a razor-sharp metal edge attached to a powerful skier doing 70 clicks down a steep sheet of ice adds far more to the experience than a DJ spinning tune after tune. It’s a very cool sound! The most memorable part of Bode Miller’s downhill run for me? The fact that Pink Floyd was blasting so loud out of the speakers 30 feet away that you couldn’t hear Bode, the commentary, or even someone standing right next to you for that matter. I like “Dark Side of the Moon” as much as anyone, but this isn’t the X Games — it’s the World Cup!
So far, almost all of the people I’ve asked for their opinion on this have agreed they would rather listen to the race than a DJ. A couple of them have suggested that maybe this is how they do it in Europe and we are just adapting to the times. Never having been to a European event, I’m not sure if that’s the case. Perhaps that is how they do it over there, but this is America’s race! Why can’t we be different?
It seems everything these days has to be turned into a concert. Many of us think this is an event that already has one of the greatest soundtracks already in place — that of the athletes themselves. Perhaps you could post a survey on your website covering this and other aspects of the race experience from the public’s point of view. Maybe even offer participants the chance to win V.I.P. passes for 2015 — I bet that would drive a surge in page views!
Thank you again for all you do for our community,