Coveted taco sponsorship not just for snowboarders | VailDaily.com

Coveted taco sponsorship not just for snowboarders

Rocky Mountain Taco welcomes Avon skier Taylor Seaton to the team

Locals enjoy a meal outside the Rocky Mountain Taco Truck on Nov. 14, 2017, in Eagle-Vail. The popular taco truck spawned a smaller taco cart this year, which will be set up outside the transportation center in Avon serving breakfast burritos in the mornings throughout the ski season.

AVON — Indeed, there are few local sponsorships as coveted as the free taco hook up for you and your friends.

The Chronic Tacos helmet used by Seaton at the 2016 X Games competition.

The opportunity has been available to a select few snowboarders and skateboarders through Rocky Mountain Taco, the EagleVail-based taco truck,

which seeks to help out a core community of shredders on the Western Slope.

But Rocky Mountain Taco wasn’t the first to tell the terrain parks of America that a taco sponsorship is indeed possible for young talent.

Chronic Tacos, formerly located in Avon, let the world know the taco sponsorship was real in 2016 when they sponsored Avon halfpipe skier Taylor Seaton in the X Games. With the Chronic Tacos logo airbrushed in huge, glossy lettering on Seaton’s helmet as ESPN cameras zoomed in on his face, the picture left an indelible memory in the minds of those who watched.

The announcers couldn’t help but give Chronic Tacos numerous mentions every time Seaton dropped into the halfpipe.

“I remember being a little jealous, I’m not going to lie,” said Rocky Mountain Taco co-owner Dan Purtell. “It looked amazing.”

FREE AGENT IN THE TACO GAME

Flash forward to 2019, Chronic Tacos has closed its doors, and Seaton is a free agent in the taco game.

On his way to the World Championships, taking place Feb. 8 in Park City, Seaton received an offer from Purtell which he couldn’t refuse.

“We’ve been wanting to welcome a skier to our skate team, and I can’t think of anyone better than Taylor,” Purtell said. “We can’t offer much, but we let him know he can come by any time he’s in town, bring his friends and family and eat for free as often as he likes.”

Purtell and his employees said they’ll never forget what a hilarious splash the Chronic Tacos helmet made at the 2016 X Games.

“It’s not your average sponsor, that’s for sure,” Purtell said with a laugh. “He really did a lot on that day to up the recognition for tacos in the Vail Valley.”

Seaton said since Chronic Tacos closed its doors, he’s been eating at Rocky Mountain Taco quite a bit.

“It really is one of my favorite places to eat when I’m back home,” he said. “That’s why I’m so stoked on the sponsorship, it’s actually going to be pretty helpful for me during those off season months when money gets tight.”

LUNCH FOR A LUNCH-PAIL COMPETITOR

Seaton’s career spans a decade, where he’s been recognized for his ability to whether the demands of the sport in relatively injury-free fashion. He’s competed in X Games nine times, is often in the top 10 at major competitions, but has only had a few major podium finishes in his career.

Taylor Seaton competing in the Great Clips Men’s Ski SuperPipe during X Games Aspen 2019. Photo by Pete Demos / ESPN Images.

Seaton takes a calculated approach to contests and is known for saying his first goal in any event is to stay injury-free so he can make it to the next competition. In Seaton’s last four traditional halfpipe contests, he has finished fifth three times.

Seaton’s lunch-pail mentality when it comes to contests has given him a level of longevity not often seen in the halfpipe. While he has been able to maintain his place in the contest scene over the years, Seaton says help from sponsors, not prize money in contests, is how he has been able to keep doing it.

“You really have to manage things, it’s not like other pro sports where you can forget about expenses a bit in the heat of the competition,” Seaton said.

“In skiing you’re on the grind a lot more going from town to town, contest to contest, you’ve gotta stay mindful of your bankroll because it can be gone in a flash, and then you probably won’t make it to that next competition, which was your only chance to get another payday and stay in the game.

“That’s why getting on the Rocky Mountain Taco team will be so helpful for me,” Seaton added. “It’s quality ingredients and healthy food which will help me cut down on the time and expense of meals when I’m back home, which will go a long way then when it comes time to start traveling again.”

Plus, “I’m all about the unconventional sponsor,” Seaton said. “A Rocky Mountain Taco will go great with a Montucky Cold Snack.”