COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 14, 1999) – It is being heralded as the greatest party of the New Year, as Telluride, Colo. invites the world to its stunning San Juan Mountains location for the most prestigious event in the sport of snowboarding.
For eight days beginning Jan. 8 of the new millennium, Telluride will host the International Snowboard Federation’s (ISF’s) 2000 World Snowboard Championships, the biggest, most hip and exciting snowboard event to ever hit Colorado.
About 450 riders from 35 countries, including the majority of 1998 Olympic-medal winners from Nagano, Japan, will compete in four disciplines – halfpipe, boardercross, giant slalom and duel slalom – vying for a piece of a whopping $270,000 prize purse.
“Telluride has been riding the wave of snowboarding – the fastest-growing segment in the winter sports industry – for several years now,” said Ron Allred, chief executive officer of the Telluride Ski Golf Company (Telski). “We are honored that the ISF recognized Telluride as a premier racing and event venue, and we are very excited about the world seeing this for themselves first-hand.”
Telski is no stranger to snowboard competition. In both 1998 and earlier this year, Telluride pulled off a remarkable repeat performance hosting the United States of America Snowboard Association’s National Snowboard Championships, the largest snowboard event in the U.S. with more than 850 competitors in 1999. Also in 1999, Telluride hosted, in record numbers, the ISF’s Junior World Championships with representatives from two dozen countries in attendance and more than 360 athletes.
“With a successful track record putting on major snowboarding events, and with tremendous community involvement, we eagerly sought out the World Championships,” said Mike Hess, vice president of sales, marketing and skier services for Telski. “This will be the most significant snowboard event for Telluride because awareness of our community, our mountain and the state of Colorado will be raised to a new level across the nation and internationally.”
It is too early to say who will be competing, however qualifiers in each of the four disciplines include the top 16 male and eight female riders on the ISF world-ranking list as of June 15; ISF World Champion title holders; 10 male and five female riders (per discipline) from each of the four ISF regions; and two male riders and one female rider (per discipline) from each national association. Currently 43 countries are members of the ISF. The 2000 Worlds begin with registration and Opening Ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 8. The following day has been set aside for training in all four venues. Actual competition begins Monday, Jan. 10 and runs through Jan. 14. A closing party will be held on Friday, Jan. 14. Jan. 15 is a contingency day.
“We’ve found a world-class host for our widely watched, top-of-the-line event,” said Christian Savioz, chief executive officer of the ISF. “Telluride is a resort firmly committed to snowboarding’s core concepts, its riders and setting new standards for riding in America.”
The Telluride 2000 Worlds will be the fifth ISF World Snowboard Championships. Previous venues included Val Di Sole, Italy; Heavenly Valley, Calif.; Davos, Switzerland; and Ischgl, Austria.
In addition too the athletes, more than 250 media outlets, both national and international, are expected, as well as an additional 1,500 credentialed attendees, judges, coaches, officials and sponsors.
“You can’t ask for a better spectator sport than snowboarding,” said Mike Shimkonis, director of the Telluride 2000 World Snowboard Championships. “The Championships will feature the air of the halfpipe, the excitement of boardercross, the speed of giant slalom and the fierce competition of duels.”
Telski has retained the services of Executive Sports International (ESI), a sports marketing company, to secure national and international sponsorships, as well as domestic and international television coverage. The global television distribution will include Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Located in the southwestern corner of Colorado, Telluride is an historic Victorian mining town settled in the late 1800s and surrounded by the highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks in North America. A genuine western town is linked to the new Mountain Village via a free and innovative gondola transportation system. The mountain features a 3,522-foot vertical drop, 66 trails, 1,050 acres and more than 27 feet of Rocky Mountain powder annually.
This summer, Telski will spend $10 million on on-mountain improvements, including the installation of three new lifts and the installation of approximately $500,000 worth of snowmaking infrastructure designed to assure excellent snowpack for the events. Venue construction and course improvements will go hand-in-hand with this. Also planned is various trail improvements and glading, safety and venue fencing and start and finish area designs.
For more information on Telluride and the Telluride 2000 Worlds, visit www.telski.com or the ISF website at www.isf.net.