Cape Town vote comes down to the wire | VailDaily.com
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Cape Town vote comes down to the wire

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Decision time can’t come soon enough for the Beaver Creek and Vail bid team.

Today at the International Ski Federation’s annual Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, the FIS Council will vote to award the 2013 World Alpine Ski

Championships.

Members of the Beaver Creek/Vail delegation who have been working tirelessly for more than a year can’t do much now other than wait until FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper makes the announcement around 11 a.m.

“I’m afraid there won’t be much sleep (Wednesday) night for a few of us,” John Dakin, of the Vail Valley Foundation, said in an e-mail late Wednesday. “My fingernails are completely worn down as this thing is going to be that close. We have a shot at this, but there is no margin for error. One vote in the wrong column and we’re done.”

The Vail Valley Foundation put up the bid for Beaver Creek/Vail along with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

“We walk into this hoping we’ve done enough to secure committed votes,” Vail Valley Foundation President Ceil Folz said last week. “We walk in feeling our bid has been well received. We feel good with what we are bringing to the table.”

Since arriving in Cape Town last week, members of the delegation, which includes representatives from Vail Resorts, the town of Vail and Vail Valley Foundation Board Members, have been doing everything in their power to show the FIS Council and other FIS representatives that Beaver Creek/Vail should host the World Championships.

“The group we brought down has worked their tails off, and everyone back home should be proud of how these folks have represented our valley,” Dakin said. “Our short presentation to the alpine committee (Wednesday) afternoon was well received, and we have our big presentation to the council at 4:30 p.m. (Cape Town time today).”

Starting at 10:30 a.m. local time, the Vail Valley Foundation will host a live Webcast of the decision at http://www.vvf.org.

Each of the four candidates ” Beaver Creek/Vail; Schladming, Austria; St. Moritz, Austria; and Cortina, Italy ” could be considered heavyweights based on World Cup and previous World Championship credentials, but USSA CEO Bill Marolt thinks the Beaver Creek/Vail bid has some advantages.

“Ceil and the Foundation staff have done a really good job of developing a pitch and have been methodical in following their plan,” Marolt said. “Beaver Creek and Vail has demonstrated with previous World Championships and the annual Birds of Prey (World Cup) that this is a resort capable of hosting the World Championships and doing it as well as anyone on the globe.

“The fact that the Vail Valley has made extensive investments in terms of renovation and new buildings helps.”

Along with its renovated facilities, Beaver Creek/Vail has proposed a new women’s downhill course. Additionally, if the World Championships were held in Colorado, the races would take place during prime-time television coverage for the large European market.

But even if a candidate has met all of the baseline FIS criteria for hosting and looks great on paper, it may not matter ” the decision comes down to 16 FIS Council members, whose votes are secret.

So, along with all that hard work, more than a year’s worth of speculation, calculation and trepidation will come to an end for the Beaver Creek/Vail contingent today. They’re hoping it will lead to jubilation.

For full coverage of today’s vote, check back to http://www.vaildaily.com throughout the day.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 970-748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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