Vail eyes bid for Alpine Championships |

Vail eyes bid for Alpine Championships

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Beaver Creek hosts skiers like Bode Miller in the Birds of Prey World Cup races. The Vail Valley Foundation wants to bring the World Championships back to the valley in 2013. (Shane Macomber/Vail Daily)

VAIL ” Work has begun to bring one of skiing’s biggest events back to Eagle County.

The Vail Valley Foundation is working on a potential bid for the 2013 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships for Vail and Beaver Creek.

“Basically it’s a situation of we’re doing our homework to make sure that this is something the valley wants,” said John Dakin, vice president of communications for the Vail Valley Foundation.

The two-week championships could bring more than 800 athletes, 1,800 members of the media and international television coverage to the valley, according to the foundation.

Vail and Beaver Creek hosted the championships in 1989 and 1999.

The foundation will meet with the Vail Town Council on Tuesday to ask for the town’s support. The foundation has also started talking to Vail Resorts, which operates the mountains, Dakin said. The foundation wants both mountains to host events, he said.

Spokeswomen for Vail and Beaver Creek declined comment Friday.

A bid would have to get the nod from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, Dakin said.

The championships haven’t been in North America since Vail hosted them in 1999.

Rod Slifer, mayor of Vail, said he’s on board for a bid.

“I’m very much in favor of pursuing it,” he said. “It just kind of puts you on the map as not only a great place for people to ski of all abilities, but also a place that has the terrain that’s capable of holding world championships.”

Putting on the event also brings the community together, Slifer said.

Buzz Schleper, owner of Buzz’s Ski Shop in Vail Village, also said the events attract international skiers to Vail.

“If I was going to Europe, I would go to an area that I know hosted the world championships,” he said.

His daughter, World Cup ski racing star Sarah Schleper, will be retired by 2013, he said.

But the Schleper clan could still be represented, he said.

“Helpfully Hunter, my youngest, will have shot at that one,” he said.

The eventual selection of a site will be made next spring at the FIS Congress in Capetown, South Africa. If Vail is in the running, a local delegation would travel there to lobby for selection.

In 2004, Vail and Beaver Creek made an unsuccessful triple bid for the 2009 alpine, snowboard and freestyle world championships. There was no local bid for 2011 championships.

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