With America’s love of alpine skiing at an all-time high after the successful 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek, the Vail Valley Foundation today announced the phase one launch of an expanded vision for the iconic Audi Birds of Prey World Cup race week December 1-6 this year.
“We saw unprecedented energy and excitement around alpine skiing last year. This year we will ride that momentum to take the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup to a new level, including an elevated Club and VIP experience, larger grandstands, and a surrounding festival that will make 2015 one of the best-ever years for the event,” said Vail Valley Foundation acting CEO Mike Imhof. “In future years we will expand activities beyond Beaver Creek to create a multi-venue, multi-event weekend that will make early winter one of the best times of the year to be in the Vail Valley.”
In previous years at Audi Birds of Prey, hospitality was limited to sponsors, members, and industry insiders. Now, for the first time ever, ‘Club’ and ‘VIP’ hospitality experiences will be available on a daily, ticketed basis to the general public. These offerings will be part of a dynamic range of options available to all, including free access to grandstands and course-side viewing.
The races will also be covered on NBC and NBCSN television, including live coverage of the downhill and super G (see race schedule here).
The Vail Valley Foundation is working with Vail Resorts, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, the Beaver Creek Resort Company, and others to build up the event and its surrounding festivities. Once again, the best male ski racers in the world will converge on Beaver Creek Mountain for one of the premiere events on the World Cup ski racing circuit.
“At the 2015 World Championships we saw a huge wave of enthusiasm and passion for ski racing and alpine sports with a festive atmosphere surrounding the celebration of top athletes,” said Tiger Shaw, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “Each year, Audi Birds of Prey World Cup spectators are treated to one of the greatest shows on earth, in a spectacular location. Beaver Creek has provided a remarkable setting for our U.S. Ski Team athletes to achieve success including Steven Nyman’s downhill podium last December and Ted Ligety’s string of five straight giant slalom wins.”
New ‘EverBank America’s Winter Opening’ ushers in multi-venue, multi-event vision for early winter in the Vail Valley surrounding World Cup ski racing
The Vail Valley Foundation and Vail Resorts also announced the phase one launch of a new festival of culture and music designed to surround and compliment the iconic Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week (visit AmericasWinterOpening.com for more).
The new event is called “EverBank America’s Winter Opening,” with a tagline, “Where It Begins,” and it ushers in a new vision for what early winter can become in Vail and Beaver Creek, with multiple concerts, festivities, ski races and other activities throughout the Valley. EverBank is the official bank of the event.
“Each year, we see a ton of excitement and energy in the early winter season. EverBank America’s Winter Opening is ‘Where It Begins,’ where people can get together and celebrate this time of year, enjoy the ski races, and get ready for a great winter,” Imhof said.
Year one of EverBank America’s Winter Opening will serve to enhance the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup by animating the afternoons and evenings in Beaver Creek Village with live music, festivities at the Audi Birds of Prey Way, prizes and giveaways, movie showings, and more in Beaver Creek Village throughout the weekend.
In future years, organizers plan on opening up the event to more racing, concerts, activity, and events throughout the Valley.
Considerations include select elements pulled from the 2015 Championships and the much-loved American Ski Classic, an event that has been retired after its final running in 2014. EverBank America’s Opening may grow to include marquee live concerts, ski racing ‘Legends’ races under the lights on Golden Peak in Vail, an International Ski Hall of Fame ceremony, exclusive parties, and more.
“With exceptional snowmaking and reliable early season winter conditions, this Valley is the preeminent place to welcome winter,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer for Beaver Creek Resort. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of support and excitement surrounding ski racing in the Rockies. Together with our partners and sponsors, we envision EverBank America’s Winter Opening and the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup as events that, taken together, can build into a Valley-wide party that can electrify the alpine world.”
“In Colorado, in Europe, and all throughout the world we’ve seen a gravitational pull toward multi-faceted events that offer a wide array of entertainment options in a dynamic environment,” Imhof said. “We have an opportunity here, during a flexible time of year in our community, to create an event that offers culture, nightlife, sport and business networking opportunities.”