2015 World Championships will concentrate all the races at Beaver Creek

Organizers scrap initial plans for women's tech races at Vail

By Real Vail
Real AspenDecember 7, 2010
There will be no ski racing action on Vail Mountain during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, according to organizers, a decision that runs counter to previous plans that called for some women's technical events in Vail and the rest of the action at Beaver Creek.

Following close to a year of input, study, and deliberation, race organizers rolled out their final plan for competition and festival venues for the Championships on Tuesday evening at the weekly meeting of the Vail Town Council.

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.

“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."

Vail's Golden Peak will play host to Opening Ceremonies, 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 once 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 race course,” Folz said. “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 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.

“At the end of the day,” said Frampton, “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.”

The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are scheduled from February 3 through February 15 of 2015. Athletes from over 70 nations are expected to attend, with an international television audience of close to 1 billion people.

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