U.S. twist underpins Beaver Creek worlds

Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:16am EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

VAIL, Colorado (Reuters) - With cheerleaders, college football-style tailgating parties and a variety of musical entertainment, the 2015 world championships at Beaver Creek are all about big business with a unique American twist.

More than 120,000 fans are expected to attend the two weeks of ski races in the Vail Valley that conclude on Sunday and event organizers have arranged a wide-ranging program, on and off the piste, to give everyone attending "something special."

Whether it is Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies, Austrian folk singer Andreas Gabalier, thrills and spills on the ski slopes or a 'Vail-gating' party for fans on arrival, there is been no shortage of entertainment on offer.

"We wanted to put our U.S. brand on these championships so we thought we would treat them a little bit more like we treat our other big sports, like football," Ceil Folz, president of the 2015 world championships organising committee, told Reuters.

"We have an official cheerleading squad and at our opening ceremonies we had a marching band and an 'a cappella' group.

"We also have a thing called 'Game Day' before our football games and so we've set up an equivalent of that here called 'Race Day.' We've really borrowed a lot of things that we do in other U.S. sports."

Tailgating has become an integral part of both college and professional football in the U.S. with food and drink parties conducted on and around the open tailgates of vehicles parked outside stadiums and arenas.

The Vail Valley version of tailgating was created to give fans at the world championships an instant party atmosphere.   Continued...

2015 AWSC Organizing Committee president Ceil Folz looks on during a press conference prior to the women's Super G in the FIS alpine skiing world championships at Raptor Racecourse. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports