Breckenridge will see the light
In the continuing effort to be different and new in the world of freeskiing, Breckenridge will see the light this weekend.
The light will be emanating from Peak 8’s superpipe, where the top freeskiers in the world will compete Saturday night at the BMW X3 FreeSki Invitational. It will be the first time Breckenridge has lit a superpipe for a night event and, being that it’s going to be televised on CBS Feb. 15, the lights have to be just right.
“It’s a goal of every event to get some kind of television coverage,” said Pete Isert, the event organizer at Breckenridge. “We’ve been fortunate, between the Vans Triple Crown which was an hour on NBC, the X Games Qualifier which had a spot on Fox Sports Net, and this event this weekend. The amount that goes into it, nobody sees it.”
Thursday, Musco Lighting began the process of hauling the lighting up the mountain. Musco lights everything from local high school fields to the Super Bowl and, a couple weeks ago, Musco lit the Winter X Games in Aspen.
“What we try to do when we work with groups, we find where camera locations are going to be,” said Jerome Fynaardt, mobile sales manager. “If the lights are blinding or not focused properly, we have to take that into consideration. The participants are the first priority.”
For Musco, the increased popularity of night events is no surprise. The company lit the 24 Hours of Aspen every year it existed, which presented even more difficult problems than lighting a halfpipe.
But, Fynaardt said, it’s still a big project.
“The lights we’re putting up there, most of them will be going about 30 feet,” Fynaardt said. “It varies, but we’ll have four to six lights per tower. It’s about a two day setup.”
And, he added, these events are becoming more popular. Last week, Vail lit the U.S. Freeskiing Open Big Air event at night for a 600 or 700 spectators.
“These are getting more popular,” Fynaardt said. “With the general rule, whether it’s been in the Northeast, Utah or Wyoming, there’s been a number of different projects. Over the last few years, the lighting has gone from a more recreational type to a more upgraded type for television levels.”
Breckenridge started this project at the end of the summer but, in the nature of television, the final contracts were signed this week.
“There’s still a lot to do,” Isert said.
The event will start Saturday at 7 p.m. Riders include Tanner Hall, C.R. Johnson, Henrik Windstedt, Rory Bushfield, Steele Spence, Dave Crichton, Shoya Okazaki and X Games gold medalist Simon Dumont.
Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at firstname.lastname@example.org