Birds of Prey showed our valley shining in the global spotlight; thanks for your contribution (letter) | VailDaily.com

Birds of Prey showed our valley shining in the global spotlight; thanks for your contribution (letter)

Our valley shining in the global spotlight

Over the first weekend of December, an estimated 3.5 million viewers in North America tuned in to NBC networks to watch the world’s best male skiers take on one of the most exciting ski racing courses in the world at the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup.

Overseas, an estimated 90 million tuned in, viewing from a record-breaking 33 countries across Europe and Asia and, for the first time ever, South and Central America.

Snow was flying, and Beaver Creek looked almost as beautiful on television as it did in real life. However, television can never fully capture what happens behind the scenes, when this community comes together in a thousand feats of teamwork to make these races the best in the world.

The same snow that looked so wonderful on TV also created a major workload for our course workers.

To everyone on the Beaver Creek course crew, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail course slippers, the Vail Valley Foundation operations team and, of course, the all-volunteer, world-famous Talon Crew, thank you for all your time and incredible effort. There is simply no way to describe how much human power and willpower went into the round-the-clock snow management necessary to host successful races once again this year.

And that’s just the start. In total, more than 500 volunteers gave their time and support to this year’s event on and off the course. On behalf of everyone at the Vail Valley Foundation: thank you. Once again, you made every visitor’s experience as positive and enjoyable as possible.

Thank you to everyone who played a part, large or small, in making the 2018 Xfinity Birds of Prey a success. Thank you to the media, this newspaper included, who gave us tremendous coverage, and thank you to all our partners and sponsors, including the FIS, United States Ski and Snowboard, Vail Resorts, the Beaver Creek Resort Co., Beaver Creek Mountain, Xfinity and TIAA Bank.

Mike Imhof

President, Vail Valley Foundation