Start to Vail’s 50th anniversary season marked with homage to resort’s ski racing tradition
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Vail will start its 50th anniversary season in style, as Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Julie Mancuso and other U.S. Ski Team members gather Nov. 15 for the annual Nature Valley First Tracks event, which includes the ceremonial naming of the team and a fan appreciation and autograph session.
The event also kicks off opening weekend at Vail, where the lifts will roll on Nov. 16.
“It’s always fun for me to meet people who are as passionate about skiing as I am. The U.S. Ski Team naming in Vail is a blast and the community really comes out to support us,” said Lindsey Vonn, only the second woman to win four overall World Cup titles, and the first American woman to win an Olympic downhill gold medal.
We’re honored to host the U.S. Ski Team announcement event for the third consecutive year and kick off on the eve of opening day of Vail’s 50th anniversary season,” said Chris Jarnot, Vail Mountain senior vice president and chief operating officer. “Having the country’s top alpine ski racing athletes in Vail for early-season training is tremendously inspiring for our community and a clear sign that the winter ski and snowboard season is upon us.”
Along with Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek hold and esteemed place in the ski racing world as the site of annual early season World Cup races on the renowned Birds of Prey course. Vail and Beaver Creek have twice hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and will host for a third time in 2015.
The family friendly event starts at 4:30 p.m. with hot cocoa, cookies and live music in Arrabelle Square at Lionshead. Following the 5 p.m. live program, fans can meet the U.S. Ski Team and get autographs from the athletes. Nature Valley, Vail Resorts, Audi, Smartwool, POC, Shred and GoPro will be on hand with interactive booths throughout the evening.
The celebration continues on Nov. 16 with Vail’s opening day, including the dedication of a new, state-of-the-art gondola complete with heated seats and Wi-Fi at Mountain Plaza.