No races for Vail during 2015 ski championships | AspenTimes.com

No races for Vail during 2015 ski championships

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Daily
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. – Beaver Creek Resort will host all of the races for the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, with Vail playing host only to celebrations and events during the two weeks of ski races.

The news came as a bit of a shock to some Vail Town Council members, as all indications up until now have included Vail as a race venue during the championships.

Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, which is putting on the event, told the Town Council that the $50 million budget for the event wouldn’t be enough to create two stadiums for two race finish areas.

She said the International Ski Federation has pushed for the foundation to not create two stadiums. The second stadium would make it twice as expensive for broadcasters to cover the event, as well as significantly more expensive for the foundation, which is also paying for the television broadcast budget – about $8 million.

“We’re very sensitive not to make it such an expensive event to cover,” Folz said.

Initial plans had Vail hosting women’s technical events, with Beaver Creek hosting both women’s and men’s downhill events.

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Councilman Andy Daly commended Folz and the foundation for their work in winning the bid to host the championships, but said Vail’s heritage is ski racing and the town is protective of that heritage.

He said he hopes the town and the foundation can have some discussions about what needs to happen in order to preserve that heritage.

Folz said the foundation is working hard to get an annual women’s World Cup event in Vail – something she said would certainly showcase the town’s ski racing heritage. She isn’t sure when or if that idea might materialize.

Folz called the 2015 arrangement “the best of both worlds,” because those in town to watch the races could ski in Vail without any distractions from race preparations. She also said many visitors would stay in Vail and that the title of the championships is “Vail-Beaver Creek.”

“Beaver Creek is the competition central and Vail really is the celebration central,” Folz said.

Vail’s Golden Peak will host opening ceremonies, official media ceremonies, nightly functions and men’s qualification races. There will also be street concerts, parties, a big screen stadium, national hospitality houses and athlete lodging, according to a Vail Valley Foundation statement released Tuesday.

The 2015 Championships will feature 11 competitions – five men’s competitions, five women’s competitions and one nation’s team event.

There will be an estimated 1 billion viewers watching the event on television, Folz said.

lglendenning@vaildaily.com