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Vail wants World Championships back

Preston Utley/Daily file photoVail and Beaver Creek mountains will try to bring back the World Alpine Championships, which were held in the valley in 1989 and 1999.
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VAIL ” Saying the time is right, the Vail Valley Foundation has submitted a bid to bring alpine skiing’s 2013 world championships to Eagle County.

“It seems like the right time again to get back in the game, and we’re excited about it,” said John Dakin, vice president of communications for the foundation.

Vail and Beaver Creek also hosted the event in 1989 and 1999.

The foundation sent a letter to the International Ski Federation this week telling them about Vail and Beaver Creek’s bid for the games, Dakin said.

The local bid received the blessing of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, Dakin said.

Eagle County will compete for the 2013 championships with Schladming, Austria; Cortina, Italy; and St. Moritz, Switzerland, which is Vail’s sister city.

“When it comes to world championships, the sisters are not speaking to one another,” Dakin joked.

The selection of the host will be made next spring at the International Ski Federation Congress in South Africa. Local officials will lobby federation delegates for the next year, Dakin said.

Dick Pownall, a Vail resident and a longtime volunteer organizer for local world cup events, said he’s supportive of the bids for the 2013 event.

“It’s a huge deal,” he said. “It’s a World Cup event times about four. It gets a lot more local people involved. The whole thing is exciting and the spirit catches on. It also obviously gives us worldwide publicity.”

The towns of Vail and Avon, the county and Vail Resorts all support the bid, Dakin said.

“It’s not something the Vail Valley Foundation does in a vacuum and says, ‘Guess what? We’ve committed you to being a part of this,'” Dakin said.

World-class sporting events such as the ski championships are a natural fit for our county, said Avon Mayor Ron Wolfe.

“It just enhances our reputation and makes us more attractive to people who are in snowsports,” he said.

The championships would attract about 800 athletes and 1,800 members of the media for the two-week event.

The foundation want the events to be split between Vail and Beaver Creek mountains, Dakin said.

Beaver Creek hosts the men’s World Cup Birds of Prey event each December.

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


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