Two-Year Deal Poised to Make Thanksgiving Weekend Ski Racing a New Vermont Tradition
KILLINGTON, VT (April 4, 2017) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), along with its resort partner POWDR, is proposing a two-year agreement for Vermont’s Killington Resort to again host the Audi FIS Ski World Cup. After years of work by the USSA to find an opportunity to bring World Cup ski racing to the most populated region of the country, Killington hosted an expectation-shattering inaugural World Cup Weekend during November 2016 that drew an estimated 30,000 spectators, and New England’s largest resort hopes to carry that momentum into future events.
Killington plans to enter a two-year race agreement with USSA to bring World Cup racing back to Vermont in 2017 and 2018, and Killington’s place on next year’s World Cup calendar is expected be confirmed during meetings of the International Ski Federation (FIS) in Portoroz, Slovenia in late May. Pending FIS approval, the next World Cup at Killington would take place November 25-26, 2017, Thanksgiving Weekend.
The proposed November, 2017 World Cup would include women’s giant slalom and slalom races, attracting athletes such as U.S. Ski Team superstars Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin.
As with last year’s FIS World Cup, the proposed 2017 and 2018 World Cup races at Killington would be broadcast worldwide to over 60 nations, along with national broadcast coverage across the US. The event is anticipated to bring millions of dollars in economic impact to the state of Vermont.
“Establishing a multi-year World Cup schedule here at Killington is an incredible opportunity to bring even more visibility to the resort and our community, which has been extremely supportive of our efforts to bring these races back. I was blown away by the sheer size of the crowd last year, and the enthusiasm I witnessed leads me to believe that we’ll bring in even more spectators this year to watch the fastest female ski races in the world take on the Superstar trail,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “While our races were happening last fall, races in other parts of the world were cancelled due to lack of snow, so we really showcased our snowmaking system as an industry-leading powerhouse.”
Last November’s races in Killington marked the first World Cup in the eastern US since 1991 when the U.S. Ski Team’s Julie Parisien won the giant slalom at Waterville Valley, NH.
The USSA has had a long relationship with POWDR producing World Cup and Grand Prix events at Copper Mountain and Park City Mountain Resort, and the collaboration for Killington’s World Cup in 2016 solidified The Beast of the East as a strong venue for World Cup alpine ski racing in addition to the regularly hosted FIS Cup and USSA races.
“Last year we accomplished all of our goals, which were to promote eastern skiing and Killington to the global audience. It was very powerful to see the local and regional communities come together to support World Cup racing,” says Herwig Demschar, chair of Killington’s World Cup Local Organizing Committee and VP of International Business Development at POWDR. “We have a blueprint for successful races to build on, and we are going to throw a party you don’t want to miss,” adds Demschar.
"We would be thrilled to work together with the Killington community, USSA and the amazing athletes to host another World Cup and make it even bigger and better than before,” says John Cumming, founder and CEO of POWDR. "Killington is a special place, and to again have the excitement and energy of World Cup ski racing return to the East, to the beautiful mountains of Vermont, is an experience we would enthusiastically embrace and look forward to sharing with the world. As proven by last year’s World Cup, the Killington team is one of the best in the business and up for the challenge.”
Tiger Shaw, President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
“Killington and Beaver Creek are both dedicated partners who, along with Aspen and Squaw Valley, have demonstrated their commitment to showcasing our athletes and growing the sport of alpine ski racing,” said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “We’ve seen strong performances from our athletes at both venues and look forward to giving them the opportunity to ski on home snow as they vie for their Olympic spots.”
Calum Clark, Vice President, Events, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
“Our partnership with Killington to bring ski racing back to the east coast produced one of the most successful event weekends we’ve seen,” said Calum Clark, USSA’s vice president, events. “The Killington team worked tirelessly to put on a great event and inspire thousands of young athletes. The prospect of returning for an event during the Olympic season gives us the opportunity to further build on that success and grow the event’s impact.”
John Cumming, CEO, POWDR.
“Killington is one of the premier resorts in the country and close to major eastern metropolitan markets. POWDR has produced World Cup events in the past at other resorts in our portfolio and has significant experience executing large-scale races including last year’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup which was a huge success by all accounts. POWDR is honored to be involved in the selection process of Killington for the women’s World Cup and we look forward to welcoming the world back to Vermont in 2017 and 2018.”
Mike Solimano, President and General Manager, Killington
“Establishing a multi-year World Cup schedule here at Killington is an incredible opportunity for the resort and the surrounding community. I was blown away by the sheer size of the crowd last year, and their enthusiasm leads me to believe that we’ll bring in even more spectators this year to watch the fastest female ski races in the world take on the Superstar trail. As our races began last fall, races in other parts of the world were being cancelled due to lack of snow, so we really showcased our snowmaking system as an industry-leading powerhouse. With the support of our community, I am excited to again showcase Killington and the entire state of Vermont to the international ski market.”
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About Killington Resort
Killington Resort is a four season destination sitting on 3,000 acres in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains. The Beast of the East boasts 92 miles of diverse snow sports terrain spread across six peaks including Pico Mountain, served by the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in Eastern North America. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course, the family-friendly Snowshed Adventure Center, 35 miles of mountain biking trails with expansion underway with Gravity Logic, plus 15 miles of hiking trails. The seemingly infinite après, dining, and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for over 55 years. Killington is part of the POWDR Adventure Lifestyle Co. portfolio. Visit www.killington.com for more information and be social with #beast365 and #beastwinter.