Breckenridge prepares for Dew Tour |

Breckenridge prepares for Dew Tour

Robert Allen
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit DailyCrews have been busy constructing scaffolding at the base of the Peak 8 Superpipe at Breckenridge in preparation for this week's Dew Tour, featuring some of the top snowboarders and skiers competing in slopestyle and superpipe.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. ” Crews are working non-stop to prepare for the largest skiing and snowboarding event in Breckenridge Ski Resort history

The Dew Tour events kick off Tuesday with qualifying rounds; competition begins Thursday.

“Here at this resort, this is the first time we’ve done an event of this magnitude,” said Nick Smith, competition department manager. “This is on the scale of X Games, as opposed to events we’ve done in the past where we’ve been focused singularly on one thing. We’re branching out and biting off more.”

The events include skiing and snowboarding by some of the biggest names in the business ” including Olympic medallists Shaun White and Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler ” on slopestyle and halfpipe features.

It’s the first live winter-sports event to be broadcast from Breckenridge in 15 years and will be the first of the high-definition era, Smith said.

Some 65 to 70 speakers, 16 light towers, fencing and several scaffolding structures will be completed along the Freeway Terrain Park and Pipe. Five generators will provide power.

“(It’s) basically a self-sufficient stadium built right here,” he said.

There will also be a Jumbotron near the bottom of the halfpipe and another near the center of town, where a 17-foot-by-12-foot screen will show viewers the events as they unfold.

Smith said there will be “plenty of spectator access” during the events. Spectators will be allowed along the left side (looking down) of the slopestyle course and along both sides of the halfpipe. However, those standing along the halfpipe must stand behind a fence that’s 8 feet back from the lip.

Resort spokesman Ryan Whaley said the area will be accessible on foot or by lift, but the lifts and gondola will continue on their normal schedules. A shuttle will bring people from town to the base for nightly events.

Preparations for the Dew Tour began last May. About 145 locals ” including the competition department, park crew, groomers and volunteers ” are cooperating to make it happen.

“This is an event that will affect the entire town and every department that we have,” Smith said.

Most of the construction work has occurred at night, so as not to disturb the skiers and riders visiting during the day. Equipment has been unloaded near the Peak 8 base and hauled by snowcat to the competition area.

“By the time we’re done with this, we’ll be around about between 90 and 100 loads,” Smith said. “We’re spending about 10 days loading this venue in and building all these structures, but we’re going to move them out of here in about 2 1/2 days.”

The park features on all three Dew Tour stops are being built by the resort’s crew and Snow Park Technologies ” a company with clients ranging from the ESPN Winter X Games to the Japan Slopestyle and the Vans Cup at Tahoe, according to its website. There will be five features on the slopestyle course.

Events will air live on NBC, with coverage also on USA, MTV and FUEL.

The Dew Tour competitions in Breckenridge will run from Thursday through Sunday. The next stops are Mount Snow in West Dover, Vt., Jan. 8-11 and the Toyota Championship at Northstar-At-Tahoe, Calif., Feb. 19-22.

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