Aspen breaks bank for World Cup prizes
December 7, 2007
ASPEN ” The Aspen Skiing Co. has to break open an extra piggybank to come up with the funds to pay the top finishers of this weekend’s World Cup races.
International Ski Federation (FIS) regulations require that race prizes be paid in Swiss Francs. A minimum of 100,000 Francs must be paid in prizes for each of the three races.
The U.S. dollar has plummeted this year against most major currencies, so the Skico’s costs have gone up.
“The bottom line number has grown,” said John Rigney, Skico vice president of sales and events. “We took a 5 or 6 percent hit.”
One Franc equals 88.5 cents at the current exchange rate. The prize obligation at that rate would be $88,500 for one race and $265,500 for all three.
Fortunately for the Skico, it was able to lock in a specific rate some time ago when it was slightly more favorable, Rigney said. However, the rate fell significantly between the time Aspen secured the races and when the Skico locked into a prize amount.
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“It is $15,000 to $17,000 more than we thought we were going to pay,” Rigney lamented.
The fluctuating exchange rates have steered him from a career in currency speculation.