Chris Anthony’s ‘Kitzbuhel in Colorado’ event sounds like quite a show | VailDaily.com

Chris Anthony’s ‘Kitzbuhel in Colorado’ event sounds like quite a show

The event was called Kitzbuhel in Colorado before a contingent of Kitzbuhel residents decided they were going to make the trip to the Centennial State to attend.

When we called Chris Anthony to talk about it on Tuesday, Oct. 31, he was headed to Denver to pick up a letter from Gov. John Hickenlooper welcoming the Austrian dignitaries to town.

"This thing has really taken on a life of its own," he said. "I'm really blown away by it."

Anthony's annual fundraising event for his youth project has always been good. The format is simple — show a film about a spectacular sporting event and invite a person associated with that event to attend and talk about it — sell tickets, auction off prizes and use the money to bring skiing to underprivileged kids. Last year, the guest of honor was three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, and the film was "Slaying the Badger," about how Lamond helped teammate Bernard Hinault win the Tour de France.

"I didn't think we could top that one," Anthony said.

And then he met up with Sophie Hofmann.

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'LITTLE PIECE OF HOME'

Hofmann moved to Vail from Kitzbuhel two years ago. In an effort to meet people, she attended a screening of the film "Streif, One Hell of a Ride" at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in 2015. The Streif is the name of the track in Kitzbuhel on the Hahnenkamm mountain, where the famous ski racing event takes place every year, attracting nearly 100,000 fans in a Super Bowl like atmosphere.

"I didn't know a soul here (in Vail), just moving here from Kitzbuhel, so I thought I'd go and get a little piece of home," Hofmann said. "I couldn't find anyone to go with me, so I just went by myself."

Anthony was at the screening with Daron Rahlves, the only American ever to win the Hahnenkamm race, who was signing autographs.

"I didn't know them, but I told myself after the show 'you're going to go up to them, and you're going to tell them you want the poster signed,'" Hofmann said. "On the poster they were giving out, you can actually see my house in Kitzbuhel. So I told (Anthony and Rahlves) about that, and Daron signed it and circled my house."

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

HAHNENKAMM PRIZE PACKAGE

When Anthony was trying to figure out how he could possibly top last year's fundraiser, he got together with Hofmann to shoot some ideas around.

"I told him the Tour de France thing last year was super cool, but this year he's got to do something with skiing," she said. "I said 'Why don't we show "Streif, One Hell of a Ride" and do something with Kitzbuhel. I'll call some people from back home and see what we can do.'"

And that's how one of the most amazing prize packages in the sporting world made its way to the auction table at the Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project Gala.

It includes VIP tickets to all the 2018 Hahnenkamm races, entry into the private event parties, a meet and greet with Daron Rahlves and Steven Nyman, dining, skiing, car service, and a guided tour of the town from Hofmann and Anthony. The accommodations will be provided by the private Kitzbuhel Country Club, whose owner will be heading to Colorado to present the package to the winner at the gala on Thursday, Nov. 16.

The event will take place at the Bluebird Theater in Denver and will include a showing of "Streif, One Hell of a Ride." In addition to Rahlves, Hahnenkamm podium finisher AJ Kitt will also be speaking at the event. The town of Kitzbuhel itself signed on as a sponsor, and their tourism bureau sent over a bunch of cool Kitzbuhel gear, Christmas decorations, key chains and souvenirs that will be given to all the guests at the event. Fusion strings group Spinphony will be the musical guest. While it's currently sold out, final seating is still being mapped out for the gala and more spots might become available. Anthony said he's building a waiting list, email him at chris@chrisanthony.com to be placed on it.

The auction site is now live, as well, with the opening bid for the Hahnenkamm experience starting at $15,000. There's lots of other great items up for auction, as well, including a painting of Rahlves on the Streif currently being created by Colorado artist Carrie Fell. Check it out at https://e.gesture.com/events/6Mk.

2018 HAHNENKAMM PRIZE PACKAGE

* Double occupancy accommodations at the Kitzbuehel Country Club

* VIP tickets to the all races

* Entry into the private event parties

* Meet and Greet with Daron Rahlves and Steven Nyman

* Transfers

* Dinning

* Skiing

* Car Service

* Guided by Kitzbuehel Resident Sophie Hoffman and Professional Skier Chris Anthony

To bid, visit https://e.gesture.com/events/6Mk/