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Vail town ski races saved by sponsor

VAIL. Colorado ” Vail’s annual town ski races will live to see their 40th year after a sponsor stepped forward at the last minute.

East West Partners, a local developer, will back the races this year.

The series, put on by Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, would have been canceled if a sponsor was not found by last Friday, the club said. But help came quickly after a newspaper article was published last week.

“I probably got half a dozen phone calls before 10 in the morning,” said Jennifer Vance, development director for the ski club.

The series will premiere next Wednesday at Golden Peak, with races starting at 12:15 p.m. The first race will be free for individual racers.

“I’m thrilled, and I’m going to go dust off my skis and get ready to race,” said longtime local David Viele, who has participated in the races for almost two decades. “I’m older now, so we’ll see how I can do against the young guys.”

The series is an important event that pays homage to Vail’s skiing roots, Viele said.

“Ski racing is a big part of why everyone’s here and how everyone got here,” he said.

Chuck Madison of East West Partners said the company didn’t want to see the races go by the wayside. “I think it was just something that we were shocked at, that after all these years they’d lost their sponsorship money,” Madison said.

Madison remembers hosting employee races when he was an executive at Vail Associates. “It was a great thing for the esprit de corps of the employees,” he said.

The series will continue each Wednesday this year through Feb. 27. Giant slalom will be held the first three weeks on Golden Peak, followed by three weeks of slalom at the Black Forest Race Arena near Chair 2. The last two weeks will be at Golden Peak, where slalom and giant slalom will be run.

After the first week, the cost is $10 per individual racer. For a team of five, registration costs $250 for the whole series.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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