Imhof: Mountains of appreciation

Mike Imhof
Valley Voices
Mike Imhof

Recently, the GoPro Mountain Games returned to our valley on a scale that we haven’t seen since 2019. While crowd sizes and athlete participation remained steady, there were even more days (six), more events (35-plus), and more concerts, music, art and activities at the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games than we have seen in its 20-year history.  

By all accounts, the event was an unmatched success. It felt great to be back, completely, to the full-fledged version of this iconic event. Together, we celebrated the mountains in an atmosphere of vitality and positivity, and some 80,000 spectators over six days came together over the event dates in a safe, joyous, respectful and courteous manner. 

For this, all of us at the Vail Valley Foundation have our incredible community to thank.

More than 325 volunteers and a valley full of welcoming locals helped make the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games the best ever. Around every corner, visitors, athletes, locals and spectators felt welcome and safe. Thank you to Vail first responders, police, paramedics, fire and additional medical staff, who worked closely with our VVF operations team to do the behind-the-scenes work of building a safe atmosphere for all.

Vail Resorts has been an extremely valuable partner to the GoPro Mountain Games since its inception 20 years ago. The event simply wouldn’t happen without the strong support we receive from Vail Mountain and Vail Resorts, as well as the U.S. Forest Service. Vail Resorts turns over its mountain and its base facilities, allowing us to operate a world-class event so that athletes of all ages and abilities can experience this incredible place on Earth.

Support Local Journalism

This is true not only of the GoPro Mountain Games but of all the work of our nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation: from the Vail Dance Festival to Xfinity Birds of Prey, to our education work serving thousands of young people and families through our YouthPower365 education initiative, to our Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, and more. We are grateful to have Vail Resorts as a steadfast cornerstone partner.

The town of Vail had the vision to support and approve the Mountain Games 20 years ago and remains a critical partner of the event today. Almost every department of the town of Vail leans in and supports the GoPro Mountain Games. We could not do it without them. Along with the towns of Red Cliff and Minturn, we were able to grow this beloved event even more, and successfully navigate the complex logistics of the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games with ease thanks to their partnership.

The GoPro Mountain Games remain free to spectators, and that is largely due to the participation of more than 110 sponsors a year. We are grateful to GoPro for their title sponsorship support (since 2013!), to our cornerstone event partners GMC, Go RVing, CELSIUS Energy, Nature Valley, Mountain House, adidas Terrex, Outside, Bosch, YETI, Pacifico, TINCUP Mountain Whiskey, Orijen, Oakley, and Oofos.

The GoPro Mountain Games take place in a beautiful ecosystem. It is of primary importance to our organization that we minimize the impact on our local mountains and streams. This year, our organization renewed its effort to do our part through the “Protect our Playground” initiative. Please learn more about it, and how you can help, at

Once again, thanks to each of you that make up this unique and welcoming community. We look forward to continuing to serve this exceptional valley all summer long and far into the future.

Mike Imhof is the president of the Vail Valley Foundation.

Support Local Journalism