Vail Daily column: Alpine World Ski Championships and business
Scheduled for Feb. 2-15, the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek will mark the third time that the Vail Valley has played host to this prestigious international event, along with the 1989 and 1999 events. Combined with the 1950 World Championships in Aspen, the 2015 event will also signify only the fourth Alpine Championships ever held in the United States, all of them in Colorado.
The World Championships, held every two years, represent the largest and most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world, second only to the Olympics. To host such an event is not only a great honor for the Vail Valley community and the state of Colorado, but a great opportunity to rally the nation around the sport of skiing, engaging the next generation of the sport. As baby boomers retire from skiing and mountain sports, we need to continue to expose the next generation to snow sports and celebrate our community’s ski-racing heritage.
In short, it’s a big deal. It is also a huge opportunity for our community and our local businesses.
The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships:
• Attract more than 600 athletes from over 70 nations.
• Will be chronicled on site by approximately 1,500 members of the print, photo, online and broadcast media.
• Will be viewed by more than 750 million people over the course of the two weeks in 70 different countries.
• Will feature over 900 hours of broadcast coverage, including a record 25 hours of coverage in the U.S., courtesy of the NBC Sports Group.
• Requires the help of 2,200 volunteers.
• Provides free public spectator access for all the races, awards and ceremonies in Vail and Beaver Creek.
• Will allow us to continue to enjoy the excellent conditions experienced this season with 98 percent of the terrain on both mountains remaining open and available to the public.
• Is an opportunity for employers to support the ski racing and the community by giving people time off and encouraging their employees to “fill the stands.”
No matter what corner of the globe guests come from, the 2015 celebration will offer something for everyone. In addition to the action on the racecourses, the 2015 Championships will also feature a full slate of festival activities, including free and ticketed concerts, great artistic performances, films, art exhibits and culinary events, along with the opening ceremonies and nightly medals presentations, representing the best of the best this country has to offer the world.
Those who were here in 1989 and 1999 will attest that the World Championships come with their own special brand of energy and excitement, so take your colleagues to watch a race or two. Even if you don’t happen to catch the day’s racing action, there’s plenty to experience throughout Vail and Beaver Creek villages to remind you that you’re at a very special international event.
On and off the slopes, guests will find all that they have come to know and love at the resorts, including diverse and expansive terrain for skiing and snowboarding, an assortment of lodging, fantastic dining and culinary experiences, great shopping, spas and more. Visitors to Vail and Beaver Creek during the 2015 World Championships will find the same rich experiences, attention to detail and commitment to guest service that is provided year-round.
This last point is important: Guests will find the same commitment to guest service that is provided year-round. It is incumbent upon the business community to not only provide the service we are well known for, but to be aware of the programming and events taking place as part of the World Championships.
Join the Vail Valley Partnership and the Vail Chamber and Business Association on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Sebastian Hotel in Vail for a 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships business kickoff meeting to learn:
• How will 2015 affect your business?
• What will be happening during this time?
• How many people are expected to attend?
• Where will there be parking?
• What are the transportation options?
• When are the free concerts and who is headlining?
• What can you do to support the Championships?
Come learn everything you need to know about the Championships from the team at the Vail Valley Foundation. The Championships present an opportunity for our community to shine and put forth our best face to the world.
Providing high levels of customer service are a big part of our success, and fortunately this is something completely within our control; attend the Business Kick-Off event on Wednesday to ensure your business can answer questions and be aware of all that’s going on as part of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.
Chris Romer is the president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.