Chances are if you have been to Vail in the last year, you’ve seen a bumper sticker, piece of clothing or sign around town with a prominent “2015” on it. You probably asked yourself, “What in the world is 2015?” Please allow me to fill you in. 2015 is shorthand for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships which will take place in Vail/Beaver Creek from February 2-15, 2015. It is the largest ski racing event in the world; second only to the Olympics. In other words, it is a big deal.
It is an enormous honor to be selected as the host resort, and there is stiff competition around the world to earn this privilege. Just like cities bidding to host the Olympics. Vail/Beaver Creek’s experience was definitely an advantage in the competition - this will be the third time the resorts have hosted a World Championships. Vail/Beaver Creek also hosted in 1989 and 1999. The only other United States resort to host a World Championships was Aspen, which did so once in 1950. Vail/Beaver Creek is well-respected in the international ski racing community and will deliver nothing less than an exceptional event. I have great memories from the 1999 World Championships – the international guests and fans, the races, the events, the excitement throughout the two weeks of competition. Did you know that Lodge at Lionshead hosted the Jamaican Ski Team? Jamaica had one male and one female racer, and we had a great time getting to know them and cheering them on!
Here is a snapshot of what to expect from February 2-15, 2015:
The Racers and the Races
Athletes from 70 countries are expected to attend, and they represent the most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world. Those of you who follow ski racing will recognize names like Marcel Hirscher, Felix Neureuther, Aksel Lund Svindal, Tina Maze, Lara Gut and so on. If you don’t follow racing, you’ll still recognize these stars from the US Ski Team: Olympic medalist and 4x Overall World Cup winner, Lindsey Vonn, back in competition after being sidelined for the past two years with injuries. Olympic medalists Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety, Andrew Weibrecht and local phenom Mikaela Shiffrin will also be in attendance. We can’t wait to cheer on Team USA!
Racing disciplines include Downhill, Super G, Alpine Combined (Downhill and Slalom), Giant Slalom and Slalom. The former are considered the speed races, and the latter are the technical races. The speed disciplines will take place the first week in February. The technical and team races will take place the second week. All races will be fun to watch! Even if you are not typically a ski racing fan, the finish stadium atmosphere is electric and you’ll be a cowbell ringing fanatic before you know it. European race fans alone make for some entertaining people watching! The majority of the races will take place in Beaver Creek, with the team events and Giant Slalom/Slalom qualifying events taking place in Vail. Race access will be very easy from Vail to Beaver Creek thanks to the addition of a free Vail 2015 transportation system that will be available to go to/from all 2015 events. If you choose not to make the trip to Beaver Creek, races can also be watched on the big screens in Vail, either at Vail Square in Lionshead or Solaris in Vail Village.
Awards and Celebrations
While Beaver Creek is considered race central, Vail Ski Resort will be festival central. The opening, closing and race awards ceremonies will be held at Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. Sierra Nevada will host Winter Beer Camp every afternoon on the International Bridge. At Beer Camp, guests can sample Sierra Nevada’s craft brews, special rare brews and the exclusive limited edition 2015 beer (only available in Vail/Beaver Creek during the Championships). There will also be free and ticketed concerts, great artistic performances, films, art exhibits and culinary events throughout the two week event. We are anxiously awaiting performing artist announcements, and promise to pass those on as we get them.
Great Time to Visit Vail
With all of the festival events, we think Vail got the best end of the deal during the 2015 World Championships. Our guests will be able to ski and snowboard to their hearts content and have a plethora of special activities and events to enjoy in the evenings. We’ve noticed a lot of guests have a misperception that Vail will be too crowded and not enjoyable, but that is just not the case. First of all, big events like this historically bring less people into town. I know this from my experience during the last World Championships in Vail in 1999, and occupancy in Whistler during the Vancouver Olympics was only at 65%. Secondly, the bulk of World ChaEverything you want to know about the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships this February in Vail! Contact Lodge at Lionshead for Vail lodging deals.Everything you want to know about the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships this February in Vail! Contact Lodge at Lionshead for Vail lodging deals.mpionship participants – racers, coaches, equipment managers, media, volunteers, fan clubs, etc. – will be in Beaver Creek every day. Both of these things mean that Vail Mountain’s slopes will not be as crowded as you think. In fact, they may be less crowded than they normally would be at the beginning of February in a regular season.
Vail Village and Lionshead will be busy in the evenings as spectators attend the awards ceremonies and special events, but you needn’t worry about that. The good news is that parking is a non-issue when you are at Lodge at Lionshead AND you have our excellent guest service staff at your disposal to get all of your dinner reservations or activity reservations arranged ahead of time. If you do a little planning ahead, you will be just fine!
The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We hope you will come to Vail to cheer on Team USA and enjoy all of the special events with us. You don’t want to miss it!
Ski Vacation Packages
Lodge at Lionshead would love to host you and your family or group during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. We are asking for 6-night stays with either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday arrival from January 30 – February 15, 2015. You can check out rates and availability right here on our website.
*If you have other dates that don’t quite fit that model, we will consider those on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes we can find space where they will fit, so please call and run them by us! You can reach our reservations staff at 800-962-4399.
Photo courtesy of the Vail Valley Foundation