Vail, Beaver Creek await vote on hosting 2013 World Championships

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

CAPE TOWN, South Africa ” Four ski venues are waiting to find out Thursday if they have won the race to host the 2013 World Championships.

The twin resort of Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado is among the candidates waiting for the FIS governing body’s council to award the event. The biennial championships have not been to the United States since Vail and Beaver Creek last hosted in 1999.

“They will have been in Europe for the last six championships and it is important to move them to other parts of the world,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation bid team.

As so often on the ski circuit, the U.S. faces its biggest challenge from Austria which has 1982 host Schladming as the pre-vote favorite.

“We have some good levels of support and we’re hopeful,” Folz said.

The other candidates are Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which staged the 1956 Winter Olympics, and 2003 Worlds host St. Moritz in Switzerland.

A victory for Vail and Beaver Creek would see a signature women’s downhill course created as part of a billion-dollar upgrade in the Vail Valley.

It would be a companion to the men’s Birds of Prey run created for the 1999 championships, Folz said.

“There really isn’t a women’s downhill (course) in the U.S. and what we’re proposing would be that,” Folz said. “It would give the women more opportunities to show their stuff other than in Europe.”

Folz hopes to attract voters by setting out a proposed program to attract children to ski racing.

“It is really about using the championships as a catalyst to grow the sport and that has been a big piece of our message,” she said.

A total of 16 voting members will decide the venue. FIS president Gianfranco Kasper of Switzerland has a casting vote if required.

If no candidate gets a majority then the last-place resort drops out of the next round of voting until one of them reaches the nine votes required.