Birds of Prey volunteers asked for more hours |

Birds of Prey volunteers asked for more hours

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK – With Wednesday’s International Ski Federation (FIS) decision to host three more World Cup races in Beaver Creek next week, the Vail Valley Foundation is now trying to determine how many of the 600 Birds of Prey race weekend volunteers will be available to stick around.

The additional races are the result of canceled World Cup racing in Val D’Isere, France, because of a lack of snow and unseasonably-warm temperatures. The canceled races mean men and women will race in Beaver Creek Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, making this the first time women World Cup skiers will race on the Birds of Prey course. The races are still being called the Audi Birds of Prey because they’re being considered an extension of this weekend’s races.

The men will race technical events, slalom and giant slalom, and the women will race super-G, a speed event.

Vail Valley Foundation vice president of communications John Dakin said there are already volunteers who are stepping up to help. As soon as Ski and Snowboard Club Vail heard about the additional races, the club immediately sent out an email and gathered about 45 volunteers for next week.

Dakin said the Foundation will be meeting with volunteers throughout the next couple of days to see who can continue to work. The Foundation needs volunteers to help out with everything from transportation to security to the race course.

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“We need to see whether (Birds of Prey volunteers) can afford to take another week of and then sort of assess where we are at that time,” Dakin said.

A fair amount of Birds of Prey volunteers come from other states, so for some people staying for next week’s races means they’ll have to change travel plans.

Randy and Tina Smith, who volunteer for the Vail Valley Foundation for Birds of Prey and are in charge of security, spoke with some of their volunteer team Wednesday to see who could help out next week. Randy Smith said they got a few confirmations, and a few volunteers said they couldn’t do it.

“It’s very early,” Randy Smith said. “We’ll know better in a day or two, but we don’t think we’ll have a problem.”

Tina Smith said they also sent out an email blast to all of the security volunteers yesterday and there are a lot of people responding.

“We’re hearing good response,” she said.

Dakin said he’s confident people will be excited and will want to volunteer. From a course standpoint, the super-G is a longer course than the slalom and giant slalom, so there will need to be enough course volunteers for the women’s super-G race on Wednesday.

Dakin said the Foundation might have to make some adjustments in areas where they’d ideally have 10 volunteers, for example, but will now have to figure out how to do the same job with five people.

Doug Lovell, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek Resort, said the resort is ready to offer its support.

“Beaver Creek Resort is pleased to support our partners the Vail Valley Foundation, International Ski Federation and the U.S. Ski Team in hosting the additional World Cup races next week,” Lovell said in a statement provided to the Vail Daily Thursday. “Our team will be on hand to provide what is arguably the best race venue in the world. We’re truly looking forward to another great race week. The resort and the Vail Valley are excited to welcome the women to Beaver Creek for the first time.”

Dakin doesn’t think they’ll need 600 volunteers like they have for the Birds of Prey races, but there are aspects of hosting an event like this that will require a certain number of people. There are necessary positions on the hill along the course, as well as security, transportation and registration, among other jobs.

“I think everybody’s going to step up and help make it happen,” Dakin said. “This is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often. It’s a great introduction to (the 2015 Vail Beaver Creek World Alpine Ski Championships). People are excited about it. It gives people a way to feel like they’re a part of what’s going on.”

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or


Want to volunteer?

Call the Vail Valley Foundation for information on volunteering at next week’s races at 970-777-2015, or email


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