Beaver Creek/Vail loses bid to host World Championships
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CAPE TOWN, South Africa ” Maybe the third time will be the charm for Beaver Creek and Vail.
Thursday, at the International Ski Federation’s 2008 Congress, Beaver Creek/Vail lost out on its bid to host the 2013 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. The 16-member FIS Council awarded the event to Schladming, Austria.
Schladming, which was the runner-up in voting for the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, easily won Thursday, picking up 10 votes in the first round.
Beaver Creek/Vail, which was also a candidate for the 2009 World Championships, picked up four votes. The other two finalists, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and St. Moritz, Switzerland, each received one vote.
The Vail Valley Foundation entered Beaver Creek/Vail into the fray more than a year ago, and they considered their bid to be a dark horse. But heading into Thursday’s vote, Beaver Creek/Vail was one of the front-runners, alongside Schladming.
“It’s disappointing,” said John Dakin, vice president of communications for the Vail Valley Foundation. “I think we made up a lot of ground in the last year, and we were right there. When it came down to it, people decided to go elsewhere.”
Schladming hosted the 1982 World Championships and holds a night slalom World Cup race every year. Austrian resort St. Anton hosted the 2001 World Championships.
Dakin said the Vail Valley Foundation will put up Beaver Creek/Vail for the 2015 World Championships. Beaver Creek hosts the Birds of Prey, a week-long stop on the World Cup, after Thanksgiving.
“We congratulate Schladming, and now we’ll refocus on 2015,” he said. “We think (the World Championships) is something that can be a real benefit to the community. We saw a lot of interest and backing for this bid, so this is something that I think we feel is worth pursuing.”
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, which partnered with the Vail Valley Foundation for the 2013 bid, will push for the Beaver Creek/Vail bid again in 2015.
“Together with Beaver Creek/Vail, our focus will now turn to 2015 when we hope that the FIS will choose to come to America to showcase the sport in its largest global marketplace for the first time in 16 years,” USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt said in a press release.
While the Beaver Creek/Vail contingent watched FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper deliver the news live, a group of about 30-40 gathered at the Vail Valley Foundation offices in Avon, while others watched a live Web cast.
“I was a little surprised it happened on the first ballot,” said Tony O’Rourke, executive director of the Beaver Creek Resort Company.
From 2001, when the World Championships were in St. Anton, through the 2013 Schladming Championships, FIS has awarded the World Championships to European candidates. The last time the World Championships was outside of Europe was in 1999, when they were in Vail/Beaver Creek.
“If you are going to call it the World Championships, you need to move it around the world,” Dakin said. “You need to move it to North and South America and Asia and New Zealand and Australia because you are not going to have increased skier numbers in Central Europe.”
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