Vail Daily editorial: So far, so great
We’re now in the final days of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, and things seem to be going swimmingly, for the most part.
You have to love how the events have gone so far in this two-week celebration of skiing. That success is the result of great planning, countless hours of hard work — much of it from a passionate, and large, group of volunteers — and, frankly, good fortune.
Yes, the powder-seeking faithful would like to see more snow than the few inches at a time we’ve received during the past few weeks — reports are that the snow’s fine, but not, ahem, epic. Still, powder dumps are kryptonite to ski racers, so here-and-there snowfall is a good thing.
Warm days can slow down the Birds of Prey and Raptor racecourses, too, but the weather the past couple of weeks has to have thrilled spectators. How many people have arrived in the valley, basked on a deck in the afternoon sun and thought, “Man, I never want to leave this place”?
Best of all, the security plans in place for the World Championships have yet to be tested by anything beyond random knuckle-headedness. In 1989, the fact that cops and emergency crews from around the region have mostly been watchful, but idle, would have been greeted with a collective reply of “What did you expect?” These days, though, an unused emergency response plan will earn a big, collective sigh of relief when the closing ceremonies are over.
Depending on location, business seems to be brisk, too. Beaver Creek Village has bustled, of course, as has the area around the Championships Plaza at Solaris. The grandstands at Redtail Stadium on the racecourse have ranged from “vibrant” to “crazed,” and there have been some long waits for buses at the quickly-filled parking lots.
In other locations, though, some have wondered where the crowds are (“somewhere else” is the simple answer). There have been reports of wide-open slopes at Vail, and even some of the non-racing parts of Beaver Creek.
All of this has been about what we’ve expected. But expecting and getting are often two very different things, so it’s nice to see planning and work rewarded.
While this is the biggest event the Vail Valley has ever hosted, we certainly aren’t done with big-time activities. The Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships brings its five-day festival to Vail beginning March 2. Some have said that the Burton party might actually be a bigger deal in some ways.
We’ll believe that when we see it, and hope the valley has caught its collective breath by then.