Aspen Skiing Company is hoping to bring the International Skiing Federation (FIS) World Cup Finals back to the United States for the first time since 1997.
Representing Aspen Mountain, the skiing company is one of two bids for the 2017 World Cup Finals at the encouragement of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). The other bid is from Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
“We’ve got the ball rolling, and people are going to be excited. The World Cup finals is the best of the best,” John Rigney, Skico vice president of sales and events at Aspen Skiing Co. told The Aspen Times.
The World Cup Finals would bring men's, women's and co-ed races for nine events. Vail, Colo. was the last venue to host the finals in the U.S. 16 years ago.
Venues in the U.S. that are capable of hosting the World Cup races are limited because of the high influx of tourists the event would bring to the resorts in March.
Aspen Mountain hasn't hosted a men's World Cup race since 2001, but would host four events if it wins the bid, which will be announced in June.
From Ski Racing Magazine:
“Ski racing and the support of world-class events run in (Aspen’s) DNA,” said Rigney. “To be able to have this caliber of talent and this many races would be incredibly exciting for the community. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the men here. We’ve had a great time hosting the ladies. I think it could be a boost on several levels. It would be great for skiing in the U.S. and it would be great for skiing in Colorado.”
According to Aspen Daily News however, skiing officials are still debating whether Olympic test events can be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Games in 2017 instead of two years before (which is the norm). The logistics of that decision could end up scrapping the whole plan if it happens because the Olympic test event in South Korea would occur after the 2017 World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland and just weeks before the World Cup Finals -- meaning it could be a serious strain to get the athletes and all the equipment to Colorado on time.