Vail, Beaver Creek Consider Candidacy for 2009 Worlds

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Park City, Utah Feb. 26, 2002 (Vail Valley Press Release)--The Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of annual men's FIS World Cup races and the 1999 and 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships, is considering the possibility of throwing their hat in the ring as a candidate for 2009 Championships for Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Although a formal bid to host the '09s would not be required until May 2003, the Foundation and Vail Resorts are not wasting any time. "We are excited at the prospect of an '09 bid. Coming off such tremendous success with the '99 and '89 championships, we are certainly looking into candidacy for the 2009 event. You can never count us out," said Ceil Folz, president of the Foundation.

Andy Daly, president of Vail Resorts, Inc., owner and operator of Vail and Beaver Creek Resort, echoed Folz's comments, "We are exploring the 2009 World Championships with the Foundation based on the tremendous positive experiences we've had with '89s and '99s."

A group of dignitaries from Vail and Beaver Creek have established a "home away from home" in Park City for the Winter Games, where the Vail and Beaver Creek contingent is showing its support for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (U.S.S.A.) and the sport of skiing, as well as conferring with ski industry colleagues from across the globe as they ponder their involvement in 2009. Bill Marolt, president and C.E.O. of the U.S.S.A., has confirmed his support for an '09 bid, saying "We are delighted the Foundation is considering the bid for 2009 and will enthusiastically support their candidacy."

Currently, the Foundation is in a "due diligence" mode, taking the temperature of the local community, municipalities, government agencies and ski industry partners before deciding whether to bid on the event. Folz explained, "We are consulting all parties both within our community and in the larger international ski community to determine our direction. We could not do an event of this magnitude without the faithful support of our partners, and we need to be confident this is the right move for all before we proceed with a bid."

Despite its interest in candidacy in 2009, the outcome is by no means certain. "We don't know who the other candidates would be, and we know we would be up against some stiff competition," commented Folz.

The World Alpine Ski Championships is a competition that includes both men and women in all the alpine ski disciplines of the Olympics and occurs once every two years. The United States has only hosted the event three times: Aspen hosted the event in 1950, and Vail & Beaver Creek welcomed the world in both 1989 and 1999. As a traditional site on the FIS World Cup circuit, most recently with the legendary "Birds of Prey" downhill, the Foundation has firmly established Vail and Beaver Creek among the best alpine racing sites in the world.

The 2002 Birds of Prey FIS World Cup Men's Downhill and Super G will be held at Beaver Creek on December 7-8.