Vail Today: Birds of Prey welcomes the world to Beaver Creek in ’80s style (video)
If you saw a lot of day glow in Beaver Creek on Thursday, Nov. 30th, it could just be someone’s regular ski outfit that still happens to fit them, but chances are they were purposefully wearing the neon for the ‘80s Ski Welcome Party, which kicked off the Birds of Prey World Cup alpine ski races at Beaver Creek.
America’s Winter Opening is a celebration surrounding the weekend of races and this year’s host was Ted Ligety. The two-time Olympic gold medalist signed posters, held a press conference, gave away a GoPro and debuted one of his GoPro videos on the big screen.
“We’re so excited for the Birds of Prey 2017 ski races and festivities because we missed last year and the energy is still high coming off of the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships,” said Melissa Bartoletta of the Vail Valley Foundation. “To see the athletes here at Beaver Creek just months before the Olympics is really exciting. People travel from all over to experience this, in fact, the winner of the GoPro we gave away tonight traveled all the way from Pennsylvania to experience the races,” Bartoletta said.
Patti Roskill and Pam Nicholson have hosted their annual girls weekend in Beaver Creek during race weekend for the past several years. “We bring in people from around the country and this is where we get together and have a great time,” Roskill said. “We heard about the 80s theme and all 7 of us got our outfits on eBay.”
The retro theme was carried out by ‘80s cover band, Rewind, which features local musicians who have day jobs, but have been gaining notoriety because of this popular genre of music. “I was here for the 1989, 1999 and 2015 World Championships working on the crew, so to be able to play at this event is just an honor. We are so excited to be here,” said Jeffrey Apps, lead singer for the band.
The festivities continue on the Beaver Creek Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 2 with more giveaways, a microbrew tasting event and Warren Miller’s “Line of Descent” movie at 5 p.m at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit bcworldcup.com.
Among Vail’s volunteers, we tracked down Bob “Buckwheat” Buckley, Tony White and Brooke Franke Gagnon. They all said it was tough, that they loved it and suggested that if you try it you’ll love it too.