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2013 delegation heads to South Africa

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photoThe Beaver Creek/Vail bid contingent for the 2013 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships is heading to Cape Town, South Africa for the 2008 FIS Congress, where one of four sites will be awarded the 2013 World Championships. Beaver Creek/Vail hosted the event in 1989 and 1999.
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Before they head over to South Africa, the members of the Beaver Creek/Vail 2013 World Alpine Ski Championships bid delegation can breathe a sigh of relief.

“Our (display) booth cleared customs today,” said John Dakin, vice president of communications for the Vail Valley Foundation, which along with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is vying for the 2013 FIS championships. “We already have a piece of Beaver Creek and Vail on South African soil.”

The 20-member Beaver Creek/Vail delegation beings its long journey to Cape Town today and should arrive late Thursday, with the all-important vote on the 2013 World Championships site coming next Thursday on the final day of the 2008 FIS Congress.

“I think from the moment we decided to bid a year ago, we felt we were always the dark horses and had very little chance to win,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “But I think our bid has been really well received and we feel comfortable that we have as good a shot as anyone to win.”

Beaver Creek/Vail, which hosted both the 1989 and 1999 World Championships, entered the mix in May 2007, and is one of four finalists, along with Schladming, Austria; St. Mortiz, Switzerland and Cortina, Italy. St. Moritz hosted the World Championships in 2003, while Bormio, Italy hosted the 2005 WorldChampionships and Torino, Italy, hosted the 2006 Olympics. Austria hosted its last World Championships in 2001 at St. Anton. All four sites regularly host World Cup races. Next Thursday, the 17-member FIS Council will vote and the official presentation of the 2013 site will come sometime after 11 a.m.

“Ceil and her foundation staff have done a really good job of developing the presentation and pitch, and have been methodical and detailed in following their plan. It’s clear Beaver Creek and Vail have demonstrated with previous World Championships and the annual Birds of Prey, that this is a resort that has capabilities of hosting the World Championships,” said Bill Marolt, the USSA CEO and one of the 17 council members.

A FIS delegation made a site visit to Eagle County this fall, and Folz said the members were quite receptive to the Beaver Creek/Vail bid.

“We earned high marks on organization, environmental aspects, snow conditions,” Folz said. “Those are those things that are really of great importance.”

Since then, along with some tweaks to the bid, Folz, Marolt and others have worked on convincing council members why they should vote for Beaver Creek/Vail.

“I spent quite a bit of time on the road traveling to visit members,” Folz said. “That’s all part of the process. Other (2013) candidates have done the same. Bill has actively been working on our behalf, and other members of our group have done the same.”

The vote is secret, and a site must earn a majority of the 17 votes. If one site doesn’t earn a majority, the site with the fewest votes is dropped and there is another round (or two) if necessary.

Among the 20-person Beaver Creek/Vail contingent heading to Cape Town are representatives from the Vail Valley Foundation, Vail Resorts (John Garnsey, Vail Resorts President), and the Town of Vail (Andy Daly, Mayor pro Tem). Sheika and Pepi Gramshammer, along with Erik Borgen, who owns the Kvitfjell resort in Norway that hosts World Cup races, will be in Cape Town on behalf of the Vail Valley Foundation, also.

A giant contingent of USSA members, including many from the alpine side, will be in Cape Town, as the yearly FIS Congress handles many other issues, from scheduling to rule changes.

On the first three days of the Congress, from May 26-28, the Beaver Creek/Vail delegation will provide information on the bid at its booth, while chef Tim McCaw of Zach’s Cabin and Red Sky Ranch serves local food samplings.

Folz said that if Beaver Creek/Vail isn’t chosen, the Vail Valley Foundation will submit at bid for the 2015 World Championships.

“We are committed to bring the World Championships back to Beaver Creek and Vail,” she said. “We are really in it to win this year. It’s a costly venture to win it. But for us, also, we believe in our product.”

For in-depth coverage of the Beaver Creek/Vail bid along with a historical look at the World Alpine Ski Championships, check back to the Vail Daily next week.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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