American ski racing fans got big news yesterday when Vail-Beaver Creek was awarded the 2015 world alpine ski championships. Only on three previous occasions has the top international skiing event taken place in the United States. Vail previously hosted the biennial event in 1989 and 1999. Aspen hosted the event in 1950.
The announcement comes four months after the U.S. Ski Team’s best performance at a Winter Olympics. Vail’s Lindsey Vonn now can look forward to competing in the world championships in her hometown when she will be 30 years old, presumably at the height of her career. Vail Resorts plans to build a new women’s downhill at Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey, pending Forest Service approval.
There was a sense in that it was North America’s turn because the past five and next two world championships were awarded to European resorts, but the Vail delegation was surprised to win by a first-ballot vote. Vail-Beaver Creek received eight votes, with four going to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and three to St. Moritz, Switzerland.
U.S. Ski Team chief executive Bill Marolt, who got to watch the 1950 championships in his hometown of Aspen when he was 6 years old, said the U.S. was “deeply honored” to be chosen. The decision helps underscore Colorado as the center of alpine ski racing in America.