“In this game together”: Snowmass and the FIS World Cup Finals
While the races are on Aspen Mountain, hosting an international event such as the FIS World Cup Finals is a resort-wide effort.
From lodging and dining to training and tuning their skis, Snowmass Village will serve as a homebase to athletes throughout the week.
After all, Aspen-Snowmass “is a four-mountain resort,” Snowmass Town Councilman Bob Sirkus said Monday during a discussion of the upcoming World Cup.
“We’re all in this game together,” Snowmass Village Mayor Markey Butler said. “The World Cup is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our community.”
And with millions of eyes across the globe on our resort, from a marketing standpoint, “there is nothing like the World Cup,” Snowmass Tourism Director Rose Abello said.
“It’s millions of impressions showed on what is primetime in Europe,” Abello said. “And from a community perspective — not talking tourism — it really showcases the athletics and the spirit of skiing that so many people here just love.”
LODGING AND OCCUPANCY
Nearly every lodge in Snowmass Village is providing a number of discounted rooms per location to house racers and support crews, said Aspen Skiing Co. sales and events Vice President John Rigney. “I think lodging is (Snowmass’) biggest contribution to the World Cup,” Town Manager Clint Kinney said. “What I’ve been told is that’s been a very significant give from the businesses here.”
According to Stay Aspen Snowmass’ latest report on Feb. 15, occupancy in the village throughout the World Cup is expected to range from 80 to 84 percent.
“This is very strong, but not yet a complete sell-out,” Stay Aspen Snowmass President Bill Tomcich said. “But it’s going to be close.”
Tomcich said he anticipates Snowmass’ highest occupancy (at 85 percent) throughout the week to occur the night of March 13, before the games begin.
On the contrary, he said lodging occupancy in Aspen is expected to peak (at 87 percent) toward the end of the week, on the night of March 18.
“We have teams placed at properties throughout both Aspen and Snowmass, with nearly every property pitching in to assist with hosting in some form or another,” Tomcich said.
DINING AND NUTRITION
Providing the necessary fuel for the top ski racers from all pockets of the world is not a minor undertaking.
Skico will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for athletes at the Base Village Conference Center from March 13 to March 19.
Along with catering to an international palate, ensuring that athletes consume the appropriate nutrients is especially critical to their recovery, Skico public relations manager Tucker Burton said.
“In ski racing, you build up an immense amount of lactic acid when you race, as it’s such a powerful, quick, sprint-like sport,” Burton explained.
“Like any sport, nutrition is incredibly important, but it varies athlete to athlete and there is no set formula.”
For instance, “from watching Mikaela Shiffrin’s Instagram, I know she thoroughly enjoys healthy pasta dishes,” Burton said.
“But then a racer like Ilka Stuhec I’m sure has a completely different food program, being from Slovenia where the cuisine is different.”
TRAINING AND TUNING
Athletes will practice on the Spider Sabich race arena on Snowmass Ski Area at various points throughout the week of the World Cup.
A waxing and tuning area also will be set up in a section of the Two Creeks parking lot.
The beauty of setting up a training area versus a race course is the minor preparation involved, Burton said.
“To be quite honest, training courses really don’t take a lot of prep, unlike setting up a race venue,” she said. “It’s simply making sure the athletes have a good groomed surface with space roped off to set a course.”
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