VAIL, CO – The organizers of the International Ski Federation’s 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships have announced a final plan for activities in the ski resort communities of Vail and Beaver Creek. When the world returns to the Vail Valley in just four short years, Vail will serve as the hub of all World Championships ceremonies and festival events, while Beaver Creek will play host to all of the racing action. This past weekend the best ski racers in the world competed in the Audi FIS World Cup on Beaver Creek’s renowned Birds of Prey course.
Following close to a year of input, study, investigation and deliberation, 2015 organizers rolled out their final plan for competition and festival venues for the Championships on Tuesday (Dec. 7) at the weekly meeting of the Vail Town Council.
“Our full intent was to come up with the best solution for Vail, Beaver Creek and the 2015 World Championships,” explained Harry Frampton, chairman of the Vail Valley Foundation board and a member of the 2015 Executive Committee. “Our goal was to create a parity of events, exposure and economic impact throughout our communities, bringing the Vail Valley together to maximize the benefits of these Championships.”
Under this plan, Vail’s Golden Peak will play host to the Opening Ceremony, all official medal ceremonies, the Festival Stadium with nightly functions and snowboard and freestyle exhibition events, along with the men’s qualification races for giant slalom and slalom and national team training. Vail Village will also come alive with street concerts and parties, a big screen stadium, national team hospitality houses and athlete lodging.
“Vail and Vail Village will truly be ‘Party Central’ during the 2015 World Championships,” added Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “Along with all the Festival activities, the lion’s share of Vail Mountain will be available for recreational skiing, allowing guests to experience one of the best ski mountains in the world.”
The 13 days of training and racing will take place in Beaver Creek, complete with a new women’s downhill race course adjacent to the current Birds of Prey men’s course, and an expanded Red Tail Finish Stadium. The women’s giant slalom and slalom will be contested on a new course running down Raven Ridge that will also finish in the new Red Tail Stadium.
Plans for the new women’s downhill course, the Raven Ridge expansion and the Red Tail enhancements have been submitted to the U.S. Forest Service for approval. If all goes well, the plan is to have everything complete by the fall of 2013.
“Since 1997, Birds of Prey has proven to be a world-class four-event men’s racecourse,” added Folz. “We are extremely excited about the two new women’s tracks in Beaver Creek and feel that a compact, one-stadium racing scenario will keep us on the cutting edge of ski sport.”
“The plan to focus racing in Beaver Creek and celebration in Vail maximizes the use of two of the world’s most famous resorts,” said U.S. Ski Team President and CEO Bill Marolt, who is also a member of the 2015 Executive Committee. “Beaver Creek has a great legacy and commands high respect from the athletes, as we saw at the Audi FIS World Cup this weekend. And Vail will be an amazing place to celebrate the success of the athletes.”
“The organizers have found an ideal solution to capture the spirit of cosmopolitan Vail for the festival and party events, with the competitions taking place on one of the circuit’s most challenging mountains in Beaver Creek. A single stadium for all competitions will create a great atmosphere and enhance the level of services that can be delivered thanks to the efficiencies of using one finish area,” said FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis.
The initial 2015 World Championships proposal called for racing in both Vail and Beaver Creek. However, upon completion of the extensive study undertaken in conjunction with the FIS, EBU, Vail Resorts, the Town of Vail and the Vail Valley Foundation, the decision was made to designate Vail as the Festival Center and Beaver Creek as the racing venue.
“We strongly feel that this solution not only provides our guests with the best of both worlds, but also maximizes the exposure and economic impact of the Championships throughout the valley,” said Frampton.
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are scheduled from Feb. 3-15, 2015. Athletes from over 70 nations are expected to attend, with an international television audience of close to a billion people.