Thursday, April 2, 2020

Vail Resorts Announces Two Month Furloughs


On April 1, Vail Resorts announced the company would be making a large reduction in expenses over the next few months.
In a public letter, CEO Rob Katz explained they were forced to adopt difficult business decisions as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, including some that unfortunately affect the Company's U.S. employees.
Vail Resorts will furlough most hourly employees, and all salaried employees in the U.S. will receive a reduction in pay.
The company will also pause payments to Katz and its board of directors, and dividend payouts to shareholders will not take place in July and October for the first time since the inception of Vail Resorts’ common stock dividend in 2011.

We continue to find ourselves living through an unprecedented time as the situation with COVID-19 grows more challenging, with everyone across our planet now dealing with very real and significant health risks and impacts. This crisis has hit the travel industry particularly hard. Currently, all of our mountains, lodging, retail, and transportation businesses are shut down and it is becoming less clear when things will start to reopen again. We reported two weeks ago that the early closure of our North American operations will cost the Company at least $180 million to $200 million in lost profitability in our third quarter ending April.  
 
I am very hopeful that both the economy and travel will return to normal by the time our North American winter season opens eight months from now. However, we also need to remember that we have substantial business operations set to open over the next few months - our Australian winter season, Grand Teton Lodge Company, as well as our lodging, retail, and summer mountain operations at our North American resorts, which collectively represent more than 20% of our total revenue. With the very real possibility that the global stay-at-home orders could be extended, and travel reduced regardless, our business in May through October is at risk. We will work hard to reopen as soon as practical, but much of this is now outside of our control.  
 
Because of these realities and to ensure that we can navigate the financial challenges ahead, we are taking certain measures, including some that will, unfortunately, affect each of our U.S. employees: 
 

  • We are furloughing nearly all of our U.S year-round hourly employees as of April 4, 2020, for at least the next one to two months, without pay, but with full healthcare coverage for any impacted employee currently enrolled (the Company will pay all premiums). 
  • We are implementing a six-month salary reduction for all U.S. salaried employees that starts at 5% for those up to Grade 27, 7.5% for Grades 28/29, 10% for Grades 30/31, and then rises up to a 25% reduction for our most senior executives. 
  • I am giving up 100% of my salary during the next six months. 
  • We are eliminating 100% of the cash compensation for members of our Board of Directors for six months.   
  • We are suspending the Company’s 401(k) match for the next six months. 
  • We are reducing our capital expenditures by $80-$85 million, with the intention to defer all new chair lifts, terrain expansions, and other mountain improvements, while protecting the vast majority of our maintenance capital spending. 
  • We are eliminating our June and September dividends to shareholders, saving the Company more than $140 million. 
I recognize this is very disappointing news to be receiving and I had hoped we would not have to take this action. But with each passing week, the financial consequences have become more apparent. To our year-round hourly employees, I am so disappointed that the vast majority of you have not been able to work these past three weeks and I assure you we will end the furlough as soon as possible once we have clarity on our business reopening. To our year-round salaried employees, who are working from home, in many cases harder than ever, I truly am sorry to have to ask you to give even more by accepting a salary reduction - we are asking everyone to accept some sacrifice so that we weather this storm together and are ready to come back strong for next winter. For those of you with questions, your leader will be reaching out to discuss the situation with you over the coming days.  
 
I am sure many of you are wondering if these actions will be enough. Will there be more changes coming? Once again, if I am honest with myself, I have to give the toughest answer for any CEO - I really don’t know. It’s possible that things could quickly improve. But it’s also possible these challenges may force us to materially delay or cancel our upcoming summer season. In that case, more measures might be needed.  
 
I have made decisions over the last few weeks that I never could have anticipated in my nearly 30 years working in the ski business. I recognize the impact of today’s decisions on you, and I do not take them lightly. I am humbled and grateful for your passion and dedication to each other, our communities and our industry – it's what makes our sport and this Company so special. Please know, I am fully committed to help steward our Company and our entire industry forward so we can all continue to thrive in the mountains for years to come. During this challenging time, please continue to prioritize your health, safety, and wellbeing. 
 
Rob 


Vail Resorts is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 world-class mountain resorts and urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Ski Resorts (III). Riding Uncharted Mountains


"A crisis can bring out the best - and worst - in a person, a country, or an organization", Terry O'Reilly

COVID-19 is the most significant crisis of our lifetime. We are on the way to the hardest social and economic crisis we have ever experienced after World War II, a case only then comparable to that of the post-war period.
Taking into account the introduction of travel restrictions across the world due to the COVID-19, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) expects that international tourist arrivals will be down by 20% to 30% in 2020 when compared with 2019 figures. The decline in international tourism receipts (exports) is expected to be in the range of US$300-450 billion, almost one-third of the US$ 1.5 trillion generated in 2019. Putting this into context, UNWTO notes that in 2009, on the back of the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals declined by 4%.
Gregg Blanchard of slopefillers.com surveyed resort marketers to measure the state of marketing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 70 respondents shared where they were in terms of financial impact, season pass sales, marketing budget, and more. Overall 93% of respondents were “somewhat”, “very”, or “extremely concerned” given the current situation. 
Asked about the overall marketing strategy and outreach at the moment, none of the ski resorts is pushing out a lot of promotional messages and 27% aren’t pushing out any marketing at all, putting everything in hold. 
Asked about their Season Pass strategy, 56% of the ski resorts surveyed had pushed pause on all season pass marketing but 60% are still selling them. Gregg Blanchard thinks it is a perfect anecdote about our current dilemma as ski resort marketers: "our products are still for sale, but we feel uncomfortable promoting them to our audiences right now". We should understand ski resorts are becoming more dependant on advance sales for cash flow.

During these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to connect with your current and future customers.

Tourism has proven to be among the most resilient industries and is called to lead the future recovery. After a long period of isolation, the desire to travel will be greater than ever. Although mountain destinations, and all those that offer direct contact with the natural environment- and a greater sense of freedom-, will be one of the most favored, behavior patterns can vary dramatically compared to pre-crisis times. And convincing people to book again is going to be challenging despite customers want to go back to our mountain destinations when they will have the opportunity.

"COVID-19 will go away. At that point in time, it will be imperative that your resort marketing team evaluate the landscape and ensure that you are re-entering the market in a way that will bring business levels back up to normal while remaining sensitive to any changes that may have occurred to the ski vacation landscape", ORIGIN

Skiers are more likely to stay local. This will create an opportunity for local destinations to increase its share market. Regional drive and short-haul destinations will likely get a relative boost over International long-haul destinations. Travelers will initially be very cautious and long-haul travel will take longer to recover.

Destinations that rely heavily on large-scale operators, groups, and MICE are most at risk (rely on the events to drive demand was a good thing in the past but under the current circumstances and possible restrictions is not). Everyone’s on shock right now, and no-one has the answer as to when this crisis will be over or knows the route book to sail in these unchartered waters. Ski Resorts' recovery will require a strategic, research-based, creative and innovative approach.

I think under the current circumstances we must combine a tactical mindset in the short term with a more strategic approach in the midterm.

One more thing. During the lockdown, people are more active on social media than ever so it is a great opportunity to keep in touch with your customers.
It's not right to keep posting as if everything is normal but going quiet on social media is also not a good plan.
You should maintain your Brand presence on social media.
Activate a positive approach (sharing, for instance, inspiring photos and videos of the season) to your digital content to remain top of mind with your guests, and niche markets.
But we will talk about that in a more extended way in our next article. 

To be continued...

Monday, March 30, 2020

Verbier Xtreme 2004



2004 was the first year skiers were invited to compete in the Verbier Xtreme. Until that year the competition had been exclusively an event for snowboarders.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Verbier Xtreme 1996



As a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first-ever Verbier Xtreme, Freeride World Tour Team presents us the original film from the 1996 inaugural competition on the Bec! 

Since its inception in 1996, the Xtreme has been considered the most prestigious event in the Freeride world. Every year, the elite of Freeride tackle the mythical North Face of the Bec des Rosses, a daunting steep and frighteningly jagged 500m rock-face in the grand finale of the Freeride World Tour. In places, the Bec des Rosses presents 55 degrees of slope. In an upright position, one can almost lean on the face with one's elbow. With steep and narrow couloirs, high rock cliffs, changing snow and terrain, it demands technical skill, great physical conditioning and a connection with the mountain that only experience can bring. Around 5000 spectators will join the riders at one of the most beautiful natural arenas of the Alps, the Col des Gentianes in Verbier.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Winter in Tirol. An Unexpected End of the Season


A friend suggested that I should write an article about my thoughts and personal experience of how I am living this moment of self-isolation. But before I start, I wanted to document the process that ended with the closure of the ski resorts in Tirol.

The COVID-19 outbreak is and undesired effect of our time. Globalization offers many benefits and opportunities but also presents new risks. Globalization has made our world a smaller place allowing people and goods to move more freely and more frequently around the globe.
Human migration has been the main factor for infectious disease transmission throughout recorded history. But, as the world becomes more interconnected, the volume, speed, and reach of travel increase exponentially the opportunities for rapid and effective disease spread growth.
And this is the case of the COVID-19 outbreak. travel and mobility play a critical role in the rapid dissemination of disease.
International tourist arrivals grew 6% in 2018, totaling 1.4 billion according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Tourism is today one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development but as an undesired effect, we also saw tourists, students, and professionals spreading the COVID-19 around Europe and the world.

On Monday, February 24th a 24-year-old Italian living in Innsbruck and her boyfriend of the same age reported to Coronavirus symptoms after a stay in Lombardy at the Tirol control center. On Tuesday, a second test confirmed the suspicion and the couple was immediately isolated in the Innsbruck Hospital.
On February 25th Coronavirus officially reached Tirol.
It turned out that the sick student works as a receptionist in the Hotel Europa at Innsbruck Central Station. All employees and guests, 62 persons, who dealt with the Italian woman were examined and tested. Due to the close contact with her, nine of these 62 people tested were quarantined. Also in quarantine were three other people who belong to her close social environment.

On March 5th a 22-year-old Norwegian student who had been in Milan and Bologna at the end of February tested positive in Landeck district. Also, 14 people from Iceland who were already leaving at the weekend spent their skiing holiday in the Tirolean Oberland when they returned to Iceland tested positive for the coronavirus.
After a stay in Verona, which is located in one of the risk regions in northern Italy, a 22-year-old woman from Kitzbühel showed flu-like, mild symptoms. Swab samples were taken immediately. The test results from the Virological Institute in Innsbruck confirmed coronavirus disease.

On March 6th three other people have contracted the coronavirus in Tirol. All three people were Norwegian citizens, friends and all between 23 and 24 years old. They said they had had close contact with other Norwegians in the past few days who tested positive for Corona in Norway.

On March 7th a 36-year-old german citizen was tested positive in the Landeck city of Ischgl. He worked as a bartender in the Kitzloch, one of the après-ski bars in Ischgl. The Tirolean State Medical Directorate asked all bar visitors, from February 15to March 7 showing flu-like symptoms, to contact the 1450 telephone health advice service and would then be examined by a doctor. The health authority surveys had also shown that 22 people were currently close contacts of the man. They were isolated and quarantined for 14 days.
On March 7th six people in Tirol were confirmed of coronavirus.

On March 9th the health authorities announced a new case that tested positive for the coronavirus. It was a 48-year-old neighbor of Innsbruck.
After it was announced on Saturday evening that a bartender in the Landeck district had tested positive for a coronavirus disease, 16 more people tested positive on Monday. Fourteen of these sick people were tested in Ischgl, and one in the neighboring community of Kappl. In all these 15 cases, there is a direct connection to the 36-year-old bartender who worked in the Kitzloch district of Ischgl. Fourteen of these 15 people come from the immediate work environment of the 36-year-old man, and one is a close contact person from the social environment of a now sick employee of the Ischgler Bar.
On the same day, after several coronavirus diseases were confirmed, the Ischgl bar "Kitzloch" was officially closed in agreement with the operator.
A night skiing event in Ischgl scheduled was also canceled.

In Innsbruck, two further coronavirus disease persons were confirmed in the late afternoon or evening including a 21-year-old Spanish student who was tested positive. Another positive was the result of an examination of a man who attended an Erasmus student celebration. This took place on Monday, March 2nd, in the "Claudiana" in Innsbruck's old town. The Norwegian, whose coronavirus disease became known on Friday, also attended the celebration. The woman student from Norway also attended courses at the University of Innsbruck the week before. In coordination with the State Medical Directorate and the university, the respective course directors and students of the courses concerned were immediately informed. As a precaution, they were required to isolate themselves for safety for 14 days and to monitor their state of health closely. The implementation of the affected courses on-site was canceled.

On March 10th afternoon, five other positive coronavirus cases in Tirol were confirmed. Two men in Ischgl: one person stayed in the "Kitzloch" and a close contact person to a person suffering from coronavirus. Also in the "Kitzloch" was a 21-year-old from Pfunds who tested positive. Besides, a 44-year-old woman from See, who was also in Ischgl and had contact with a guest of the "Kitzloch", also fell ill.
Also, another case became known as a result of the Erasmus student celebration in Innsbruck on March 2nd. A 30-year-old woman from Innsbruck who attended the event was also tested positive.
On Tuesday 10th with 30 confirmed coronavirus cases in Tirol, four of which were related to Ischgl, the Landeck and the health authorities agreed that all après -Ski bars in Ischgl should close immediately. The regional Government decreed from Wednesday, March 11th all open-air events with over 500 participants and all indoor events with over 100 people will be canceled until early April. Sports events should take place without spectators.
In the evening a 43-year-old man from St. Anton am Arlberg tested positive for the coronavirus.
In order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, lectures at the University of Innsbruck were canceled from Tuesday, March 10th. An Innsbruck student dormitory was partially under quarantine.

On Wednesday, March 11th nine other coronavirus diseases became known in Tirol.
Four people were related to Ischgl and at least one visited the "Kitzloch" bar.
A total of nine people, between the ages of 18 and 27, were affected in Kappl, most of them come from outside Tirol and worked as ski and snowboard instructors. A 29-year-old man from Völs also fell ill after visiting the "Kitzloch" bar.
There was also a connection with the Erasmus student celebration: a 26-year-old man from Innsbruck was infected with the coronavirus there.
A 25-year-old man who attended a lecture at the University also fell ill.
Three people coming from the Innsbruck-Land, Schwaz and Imst districts tested positive after staying in Lombardy or Bolzano.
There was also a positive case in the Reutte district, a Slovak woman who works in Berwang and stayed in Ischgl for several days at the beginning of March.
At the end of the day, Tirol saw the sharpest increase in confirmed coronavirus disease since the first two positive cases two weeks earlier. The Tirolean state government announced that from Monday, March 16, students from the ninth grade will stay at home and restrictions for Compulsory school pupils and kindergarten children. Parents who can take care of their children at home were called to do so.
The Tirolean regional government decrees the closure of the Ischgl ski resort from Saturday, March 14 until further notice.March 11th ended with a total of 73 people in Tirol suffering from the coronavirus.

On the morning of March 12th, six people were tested positive in Innsbruck. At least three of them were students. A connection to the student infection chain that can be traced back to an Erasmus student party was established. Later, ten more cases were detected. Three of them were tested positive in Innsbruck and were connected to Ischgl. Five were confirmed in the Innsbruck-Land district and were related to Italy, St. Anton or Ischgl.
During the afternoon, 18 further cases became known in Tirol. A total of 15 positive test results were related to Ischgl.
A person from Galtür who attended a lecture at the University of Innsbruck, in which a person with a positive test also took part, also was confirmed positive for coronavirus.

At the end of the day, on Tuesday, March 12th, with 107 cases in Tirol, after a meeting with representatives of Tirolean tourism, the regional government of Tirol decided that the cable cars should close on Sunday, March 15, 2020, based on the Epidemic Act. Likewise, all accommodation facilities should close officially as of Monday, March 16th.
In Tirol, the Ski season had unexpectedly ended for me!!!

To be continued...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19 and Ski Resorts II


"Everyone’s got a plan until they get hit", Joe Louis.

Tourism is a key sector for people living in mountain regions and destinations. For most of them, tourism is the most important industry and the principal revenue generator. 
The COVID-10 outbreak has lead to an exceptional situation across the world that has not been seen before.
The COVID-19 crisis has presented a horizon of uncertainty. However, after the storm comes the calm and the disease will pass, and life will go on. And you must be ready when the time comes. Mountain destinations should be ready to provide their guests with the best place to be after following a long period of isolation in their houses: the Mountain outdoors.

But...what happens when an unexpected event occurs beyond your company’s control that impacts how you relate and communicate with your customers? 
When companies are hit with a crisis of these proportions, it can be a defining moment. And their ability to weather the storm can dictate what their future holds.
In the world of marketing, it's an all-hands-on team situation. Because communication is one of the most important keys to handle a disaster. 
Marketers talk frequently about how important it is to be agile and flexible. But in reality, most are working to a well-defined marketing plan driven by a budget and strategy that was locked down months ago. 
But it is not enough. You must add creativity and innovation to the mix. This is the time to excel as a marketer.

5 Things to consider doing after the COVID 19 hit our Ski Resorts

STOP

One of the first things on the crisis checklist is to suspend all advertising. 
Lay off the pushy stuff. Online ads, AdWords campaigns, and your marketing automation must be pulled until you recover full control over the situation. 
You should also take advantage of this time to reassess your approach for the next season.

LISTEN 

In times of crisis, it's easy to suspend all advertising, but you can't suspend social media. 
The growth of social media has transformed crisis communication management because it allows more interactivity and a quicker and more straight response.
Listen to your stakeholders. Listening intently will help you to build your message and find the right tone to talk with them.

CARE 

Marketing in a crisis can be a watershed moment for most companies. The concern for its customers and employees is revealed. It's the ultimate test of what lengths it is willing to go to resolve the crisis - regardless of the costs. 
Remember Customer service is also marketing. And memorable customer service means going above and beyond the call. Exceeding customer expectations can't just be a marketing tactic, it has to be the company philosophy.
Destinations can't afford to find new customers every day. That means they have to rely on repeat customers. And the best way to ensure repeat customers is by exceeding customer expectations. You are not in the business of creating clients you are out to build lifelong relationships. 
Customer service doesn't cost money, it makes money. because it fuels the most powerful form of advertising: Word of mouth. 
Make meaningful recurrent messages like We have implemented our crisis response plan, which places the highest priority on the health and safety of our guests and staff because without guests there is no business to take care of.
In the World of the Internet, mistakes are amplified like never before.

THINK 

We have to think about business continuity and next season. 
Take a look at what your competitors are doing. But don't stop there. Look beyond your industry. It's research time. You should look at previous crises and learn from them. But it's not an automatic process. You must rethink it and adapt it to the current times. 
You can find your way from the best practice and cases in how marketing can help bounce back from disaster. 
In 1982 Johnson & Johnson's CEO, James Burke wrote the book on crisis management when it comes to handling a crisis with the Tylenol tampering case. 
Take a look at how destinations like New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans, London, Paris, Toronto or Madrid bounced back from a tragedy. 
These cities found a way to come back and despite every disaster is different and there is no playbook, and we can learn all a lot from their experiences.

WAIT 

In the world of marketing timing is everything. There are big penalties to be paid in the world of marketing when you are behind the times but also for being too far ahead of your time.
But when you're timing is right, when you seize the moment as the moment presents itself, success will smile back to you.
In marketing, getting the right message in front of the right customer and getting that message to the customer at exactly the right time is a fine art.
Find the perfect timing for your message is the result of the analysis and a talent for recognizing opportunities.



Ski Resorts marketers will have opportunities to start marketing sooner than later. 
For instance "Give customers something that's not date-specific and doesn't lose value, to remove the uncertainty around the COVID-19 timeline", said Gregg Blanchard, from Slopefillers in SAM Magazine. 
Under the current situation, I think the best marketing tip is simply to be much more thoughtful about your strategy and tactic movements.
In an Interview for SAM Magazine, Gregg Blanchard remembers the suggestion of Adam Buchanan, a digital marketing consultant. He said that each resort must start from scratch and ask what needs to be said. Not what could be said or might be said, but what really should be said. 
We are open to your comments and to discuss thoughts and strategies to promote a rapid recovery within the mountain destinations.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

COVID-19 and Ski Resorts I


The outbreak of COVID-19 (short for “coronavirus disease 2019”) presents the tourism sector with a major and evolving challenge. The tourism sector and the Ski Industry are currently one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19.
Something that "started as a wave of reassurances by ski areas that necessary precautions were being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among guests, then quickly swelled into a tsunami of resort closures", (SAM Magazine). 
After the concentration of cases in the Veneto province and the travel restrictions imposed by an increasing number of nations, on March 6th, following the recommendations of the FIS Council, the Italian Winter Sports Federation and the Cortina 2020 Organising Committee were forced to cancel the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals scheduled for 16th-22nd March 2020. On March 8th the Regional Council agreed with the Aosta Valley ski lifts to close the ski areas.
Due to an ordinance issued by the National Civil Protection authority on March 9th, all ski areas in Italy have closed on March 10th.
On March, 11th the Audi FIS Women's World Cup races in Are (SWE) have been canceled after new recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden. A day after the Men's World Cup races in Kranjska Gora (SLO) were canceled.
On March 12th, the regional governments of Tirol, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, Oberösterreich, and Niederösterreich decreed new preventative measures aimed at combating and limiting the spread of the Coronavirus. One day later the ski resorts of Kärnten also announced the end of the season. With the Carinthian state government decree on March 14th, all cable cars and other ski lifts in Austria officially closed at the end of Sunday, 15 March.
In the following hours and days, the rest of the countries joined the closing decision. On March 13th, Ski Andorra on behalf of the Andorran ski resorts communicated that the ski resorts will close on Saturday, March 14th.
On March 13th also, the 36 stations attached to the Tourist Association of Ski and Mountain Stations (ATUDEM) in Spain made the decision to close their facilities and end the 2019-2020 ski season.
On March 13th, as a result of the Federal Council's media conference on Friday, Switzerland announced the closure of all ski areas.
In accordance with the directives announced on Saturday, March 14 by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the French Ski Resorts were the last ones in Europe to announced the closing of its ski areas.
On March 15th, the majority of the Ski Resorts, in Europe and North America, have been closed.
The last ones to ceased mountain operations were a few ones in Canada. For them, today, Wednesday, March 18th will be the last day of the season.
I think practically all Ski Resorts in the Northern Hemisphere have had to end the winter season much earlier than expected due to COVID-19. The situation, being dramatic, is not the main concern, the worst is the uncertainty generated and how it will affect the future of our ski resorts.

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020 Champions



After the cancellation of the Verbier Xtreme, the Grande Finale of the Freeride World Tour the winners of the FWT 2020 are:


Ski Men

Isaac Freeland (USA - 1st place) comes out on top thanks to his talent and his thirst as a newcomer on the tour. For the first time in his career, he is Freeride World Champion. Also, undeniably winning the of "Rookie of The Year 2020" award. The 2018 World Champion, Kristofer Turdell (SWE - 2nd Place), came close to reclaiming his title and finished second overall. The American Andrew Pollard (USA - 3rd Place) took third place in the overall ranking. The "Rookie" of the year 2019 improves his performance and remains near the top of the overall rankings.

Ski Women

Arianna Tricomi (ITA - 1st Place) wins the World Champion title for the third time in her career! The Italian, who was injured following Kicking Horse Golden BC, did not give up the race for the world title. Unstoppable, she put her skis back on for the two European stages and went on to win the Triple World Champion Title. She was closely followed by Hedvig Wessel (NOR - 2nd Place), who consistently showed her freestyle talents throughout the season. On the Tour since 2013, Jaclyn Paaso (USA - 3rd Place) was not to be easily silenced. The American has been quietly racking up points all season and climbed to third place in the overall 2020 ranking. The "Rookie of The Year" award goes to skier Jessica Hotter (NZL - 4th Place) who proves time and again her high level of commitment and performance throughout the season.

Snowboard Women

Triple World Champion, Marion Haerty (FRA - 1st Place) seems untouchable. Thanks to her first-place finished at the first two stops of the Tour and in Fieberbrunn, the Frenchwoman had clinched her title before Verbier. Her direct rival, Australian Michaela Davis-Meehan (AUS - 2nd Place) showed her talents in Ordino Arcalís which earned her second place in the overall rankings. They are closely followed by the determined Erika Vikander (USA - 3rd Place) in third place on the podium.

Snowboard Men

Wildcard for 2020 season, Nils Mindnich (USA - 1st Place) leaves the world of Freeride in awe. With the Ordino Arcalís staged for snowboarders in Fieberbrunn, Austria, Nils completed two runs on the "Wildseeloder" face coming out on top in both. With a podium finish already under his belt in Hakuba, Japan, Mindnich held the lead in the race for the world title and lifted the World Champion trophy for the first time in his career. He was closely followed by two snowboarding prodigies. The 2019 World Champion, Victor De Le Rue (FRA - 2nd Place) and Sammy Luebke (USA - 3rd Place), triple World Champion and Tour legend for the past six years.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Wrap of the 2019-2020 Alpine World Cup Season: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Grabs the Overall Globe




Aleksander Amodt Kilde is the winner of the 2019-2020 Overall World Cup and can celebrate his very first big globe, after winning the Super-G title back in 2016.
After switching back to Atomic last summer, Kilde had a very consistent season, winning "only" one race, the Super-G in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. The attacking Viking finished 6 further times on the podium throughout the season and made the difference by upping his game in Giant Slalom. While never achieving a podium in this discipline, the Norwegian always finished Top 6 in the last five Giant Slalom of the season, earning important points.
Kilde now becomes the fourth Norwegian after Kjetil André Aamodt, Lasse Kjus (2), and Aksel Lund Svindal (2) to win the Overall World Cup.

Statistics

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 12
Olympic Winter Games Starts: 7

FIS World Cup Starts: 152
FIS World Cup Podiums: 18
FIS World Cup Victories: (2 Downhill, 2 Super-G)




Alexis Pinturault was Kilde's main rival until the end and finished second in the overall standings. The French man won six races during the season (3 GS, 2 AC, 1 SL) but it was not enough to secure his first Overall World Cup Title. Pinturault has a small consolation prize and can celebrate winning the 2019-2020 Alpine Combined title for the fourth time in his career.

Henrik Kristoffersen fails to achieve his goal for the 2019-2020 season of winning the big globe and finished third in the overall standings. Nevertheless, it's still a positive season for the Norwegian tech skier, who clinched both the Giant Slalom and the Slalom Globes.
It was a very tight finish in both disciplines, considering that Kristoffersen finished only 2 points ahead of Clement Noel (FRA) in Slalom and 6 points ahead of Alexis Pinturault (FRA) in Giant Slalom.
It's the second Slalom World Cup Title for Kristoffersen - after winning it in 2016 - and the first one ever in Giant Slalom.

Beat Feuz finished on the podium seven times, including two victories, in the 9 Downhill races this season. The Swiss speed machine celebrates the third consecutive Downhill globe of his career, as he finished first in the Downhill standings, more than 200 points ahead of Thomas Dressen (second) and Matthias Mayer (third).

Men's Globe Winners of the 2019-2020 Season
  • Overall World Cup Winner: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)
  • Slalom World Cup Winner: Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR)
  • Giant Slalom World Cup Winner: Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR)
  • Super G World Cup Winner: Mauro Caviezel (SUI)
  • Downhill World Cup Winner: Beat Feuz (SUI)
  • Alpine Combined World Cup Winner: Alexis Pinturault (FRA)
  • Parallel World Cup Winner: Loic Meillard (SUI)
  • Longines Rising Ski Star: Clement Noel (FRA)
  • Overall Nations Cup Winner: Switzerland
  • Best Ski Manufacturer Award: Rossignol

Wrap of the 2019-2020 Alpine World Cup Season: Federica Brignone Grabs the Overall Globe





Federica Brignone can be proud to be the first Italian woman to conquer the Overall Globe. Brignone joined the Italian-Overall club composed by Piero Gros, Gustav Thoeni and Alberto Tomba on the Men's field.
The Italian ski star, over the year, has scored eleven podiums with five victories: Courchevel and Sestriere Giant Slalom race, Crans Montana and Altenmarkt Alpine Combined and the Super-G in Sochi with an achieved record number of points of 1378. She topped the overall rankings, followed by Mikaela Shiffrin (1,225) and Petra Vlhova (1,189).
These brilliant results have allowed her to conquer not only Overall but also the Giant Slalom and the Alpine Combined globes thanks to her consistency throughout the season.

Statistics

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 11
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Podiums 1
Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 2nd

Olympic Winter Games Starts: 8
Olympic Winter Games Medals: 1 (3rd in Giant Slalom in PyeongChang 2018)

FIS World Cup Starts: 224
FIS World Cup Podiums: 39
FIS World Cup Victories: 15 (7 GS, 3 Super-G, 5 Alpine Combined)





The other protagonists of the season are certainly this year slalom specialist Petra Vlhova and speed queen Corinne Suter.
Suter conquered both Super-G and Downhill globes for the first time in Switzerland since 1988 with Michela Figini. Without a doubt, she has been the most consistent skier in both disciplines throughout the season with 9 podiums and 2 victories, one in Downhill and the other in Super-G.
Vlhova makes the history of her country by conquering two globes, Parallel and Slalom. The Slovakian skier finished on the podium in 13 of the last 15 World Cup slalom events, and she won the previous 3 World Cup slalom races already becoming the most successful Slovakian slalom skier of all time.
She also won the first of the two Parallel races and with two competitions played she put under her belt the first-ever Parallel Globe.

This season will be remembered by the irruption of the COVID-19 and the cancellation of the last races including the Finals in Cortina. Also by the absence of Mikaela Shiffrin, 3-time Overall winner, in the last six weeks since the sudden death of her father last month. She was due to return in Are and came back to fight for the standings before the interruption of the competitions.

Women's Globe Winners of the 2019-2020 Season
  • Overall World Cup Winner: Federica Brignone (ITA)
  • Slalom World Cup Winner: Petra Vlhova (SVK)
  • Giant Slalom World Cup Winner: Federica Brignone (ITA)
  • Super-G World Cup Winner: Corinne Suter (SUI)
  • Downhill World Cup Winner: Corinne Suter (SUI)
  • Alpine Combined World Cup Winner: Federica Brignone (ITA)
  • Parallel World Cup Winner: Petra Vlhova (SVK)
  • Longines Rising Ski Star: Alice Robinson (NZL)
  • Women's Nations Cup Winner: Italy
  • Best Ski Manufacturer Award: Rossignol

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Magic Pass 2020-2021



The Magic Pass is available now and only for a limited time for CHF 399!
Your Magic Pass is valid for the summer season 2020 and the winter season 2020/21
Next winter you will benefit in over 30 destinations from 1'200 km of slopes, until 6 April16 snow parks and 100 mountain restaurants. In summer, more than 16 destinations offer almost 300 kilometers of bike trails, several hundred kilometers of hiking trails, over 12 sunny and panoramic terraces and much more! The Magic Pass is now also valid in summer for the mountain railways in Saas-Fee and Saas-Almagell (excl. Metro Alpin and summer skiing)!

Access over 1200 km of groomed slopes, 2 glaciers, 15 snowparks, more than 100 mountain restaurants, over 300 km of mountain bike trails, an infinite amount of hiking trails and an endless list of other activities to discover.


The Magic Pass is an annual pass valid from the opening of lift services in May until the end of the following winter season that allows unlimited and unrestricted access to the entirety of lift infrastructure at partner resorts.


Ski Resorts:
Since its launch three years ago, MAGIC PASS has attracted an ever-growing amount of users. From just over 80,500 pass holders during the first season (2017-2018) to 134,500 last season, indicating an increase of over 68%.
The Magic Pass will be available since March 13, 2019, directly via magicpass.ch.

Kranjska Gora Preview




March 14th Giant Slalom / Men
March 15th Slalom / Men

Åre Preview




Are (SWE)

March 12th Parallel Slalom / Ladies
March 13th Giant Slalom / Ladies
March 14th Slalom / Ladies

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S2. E19. Kvitfjell Review

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020. Marion Haerty. Snowboard Women Winning Run, Fieberbrunn, Austria

Freeride World Tour 2020. Nils Mindnich. Snowboard Men Winning Run, Fieberbrunn, Austria

Freeride World Tour 2020. Arianna Tricomi. Ski Women Winning Run, Fieberbrunn, Austria

Freeride World Tour 2020. Craig Murray. Ski Men Winning Run, Fieberbrunn, Austria

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Matthias Mayer Wins Kvitfjell Downhill



Matthias Mayer claims today in Kvitjell his fourth victory of the season, the second in Downhill.
"It's always good to win the last race of the season and to be in the top 3 of the overall Downhill standings because it gives me a strong motivation for next year. It's a difficult slope and it's hard to beat the Norwegians here as they are really fast, so I am even more satisfied!", said Mayer after the race.
Matthias Mayer skied a flawless Downhill, which enabled him to be faster than everyone else, including local favorite Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR). The Norwegian, who was leading until Mayer's run, finished in second place (+0.14s) and scored his first podium on Norwegian snow. With the 80 points gained today, Kilde jumps again in first place in the overall standings.
Carlo Janka surprises teammate Beat Feuz and clocks the third-fastest time, achieving the second podium of his season after the one in the opening Downhill in Lake Louise.
Beat Feuz finished fourth and failed to get on the podium for the 19th time in the last 22 races. The Swiss speed machine celebrates the third consecutive Downhill globe of his career, as he finished first in the Downhill standings, more than 200 points ahead of Thomas Dressen (second) and Matthias Mayer (third).



Friday, March 6, 2020

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals in Cortina Cancelled


Due to the outbreak and situation with the Novel Coronavirus in Northern Italy where there is a concentration of cases in the Veneto province that have led to travel restrictions imposed by an increasing number of nations, on the recommendation of the FIS Council, the Italian Winter Sports Federation and its Cortina 2020 Organising Committee are regrettably forced to withdraw from the organization of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals scheduled for 16th-22nd March 2020.
The health and welfare of the athletes and all other participants, as well as the general public, are in the forefront and the priority of FIS and all stakeholders. The recommendation of the FIS Council was made during an emergency conference call where the latest information and recommendations from the Italian, International and National Health Authorities of participating nations were presented. The main issue that steered the recommendation of the Council affecting the organization of the Finals in Cortina was the travel restrictions imposed by an increasing number of National Authorities, which would have likely limited the participation of several athletes.
"This was an extremely difficult decision for us to make, but ultimately welfare and health of the athletes, teams, and everyone associated with the World Cup as well as the general public must be our top priority", said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. "This is certainly not the way we wanted the season to end without World Cup Finals, but we must respect this very serious situation. We look forward to recognizing the winning athletes at a later date when we can properly celebrate their accomplishments".
The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals 2020 in Cortina was also scheduled as the main test event for next season’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Kasper added, "It is also disappointing that the Finals in Cortina cannot take place to showcase the outstanding upgraded venue and both the women’s and men’s courses in action. Despite this setback, the preparations of the Italian Winter Sports Federation and the Local Organising Committee together with our broadcast and marketing partner Infront, are fully on-track for what we are convinced will be exceptional FIS World Championships next year".
Due to the lack of short-notice alternative locations to stage such a large event and which do not have travel restrictions to enable all athletes to be able to participate or travel onwards after the event, the Finals will not be replaced and the discipline and overall globes will be confirmed after the last scheduled races on 15th March for the women in Are (SWE) and Kranjska Gora (SLO) for the men.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020. Fourth Stop: Fieberbrunn, Austria



4. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR FIEBERBRUNN KITZBÜHELER ALPEN
Date: March 7-13, 2020; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria

Freeride World Tour 2020. Michaela Davis Meehan. Snowboard Women Winning Run, Ordino Arcalís Andorra

Freeride World Tour 2020. Hedvig Wessel. Ski Women Winning Run, Ordino Arcalís Andorra

Freeride World Tour 2020. Léo Slemett. Ski Men Winning Run, Ordino Arcalís Andorra

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S2. E18. Hinterstoder and La Thuile Review

Monday, March 2, 2020

Alexis Pinturault Takes Double Victory in Hinterstoder

Alexis Pinturault skis an unbelievable first run today, setting almost one second between him and the chasing pack. In the second run, the French man administrates his advantage and takes his third Giant Slalom victory in Hinterstoder, as well as the third in the current season in this discipline.
Filip Zubcic impresses once again, skiing two terrific runs and closing second, 0.45 seconds behind Pinturault.
After becoming the first Croatian man to win a Giant Slalom last week, Zubcic takes his second consecutive podium in Hinterstoder, the third one this season.
Henrik Kristoffersen clocks the third-fastest time (+0.72s) with a good comeback in the second run and achieves his 62nd podium in 149 World Cup races. He is now the new leader in the Giant Slalom standings.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Alexis Pinturault Wins 4th Alpine Combined Globe

Alexis Pinturault wins the 10th Combined race of his career, becoming the first skier to win the Combined World Cup six times. It's the fourth globe in this discipline for "Pintu", seen that in 2013 and 2014 the globe was not assigned.
Alexis Pinturault was very fast already in the morning, closing second in the Super-G, behind Mauro Caviezel and just in front of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Mauro Caviezel (+0.99s) showed good slalom skills in the afternoon run, where he started first and lost only one position to Pinturalut, clearly the fastest in the technical discipline.
Also, Kilde managed to stay on the podium, keeping the third position. The Norwegian closed 1.25 seconds behind the leader and conceded only 40 points in the overall standings to Pinturault.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde keeps leading the overall standings with 1082 points, chased by Pinturault, currently at 1048.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Vincent Kriechmayr Wins Super-G in Hinterstoder

Today, Vincent Kriechmayr with bib No.1 opened the Super-G with a terrific run. Despite the strong performances of Mauro Caviezel (SUI) and Matthias Mayer (AUT), Kriechmayr never gave up the leader's seat. The Austrian speed skier could celebrate his second Super-G victory of the season, the fourth of his career in this discipline and the sixth overall.
"I am very satisfied with my skiing today and being able to win in front of an incredible crowd is simply amazing!", said Kriechmayr after the race.
Mauro Caviezel, went very close to the first victory of his career, but eventually finished second, just 0.05s seconds behind the Austrian. It's the third Super-G podium of the season, the second in a row for the Swiss athlete, who always finished in the top 5 in this season's Super-G races. Thanks to this amazing consistency, Caviezel now leads the Super-G standings, with two races left until the small globe is assigned.
Matthias Mayer joined the Austrian party in Hirnterstoder, taking the third spot on the podium as he finished 0.08 seconds behind teammate Kriechmayr.

First World Cup Victory for Nina Ortlieb in La Thuile



The win for Nina Ortlieb, daughter of 1992 Olympic Downhill champion Patrick Ortlieb, came one week after she earned her first podium result, finishing third in a Downhill in Crans Montana.
Federica Brignone, who was racing on her home track finished a mere one-hundredth of a second separates from the top step of the podium.
Corinne Suter crossed the finish line in third behind Brignone. The Swiss skier remained in the lead of the discipline standings, 19 points ahead of the Italian, with only the season-ending race in Cortina d'Ampezzo remaining.
Last week Suter wrapped up the season title in Downhill, and she could become the first female skier to win both speed titles in the same season since American standout Lindsey Vonn achieved the feat five years ago.
Petra Vlhova confirmed her progress in the speed disciplines as the Slovakian skier trailed by 0.39 in fourth.
Federica Brignone extended her lead in the overall standings to 153 points from the absent Mikaela Shiffrin, and the Slovakian Vlhova is 189 points behind Brignone in the overall standings.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

La Thuile, Italy. Preview



February 29th Super-G / Ladies
March 1st Alpine Combined / Ladies

Hinterstoder, Austria. Preview



Hinterstoder is the only ski world cup village in Upper Austria and is known as an all-year-round holiday destination.
The Ski Area Hutterer Höss features 40 km of pistes at all levels of difficulty. 14 lifts between 600 m and 2.000 m altitude, a Sunny Kids Park as well as a snow park.
The world cup track is named after the regional downhill champion Hannes Trinkl. With a length of 3.500 m, a maximum drop of 60 Prozent and a width of up to 80 m, this track is not only a challenge for international ski athletes but offers a glimpse of that world cup feeling for sports enthusiasts.

February 28th Alpine Combined

February 29th Super-G

March 1st Giant Slalom

Monday, February 24, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020. Third Stop: Ordino Arcalís, Andorra



In a few days, The Freeride World Tour is back for another action-packed event!

FREERIDE WORLD TOUR VALLNORD ARCALIS - ANDORRA
Date: February 28 - March 4, 2020; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Federica Brignone Wins Second Alpine Combined of the Season in Crans Montana



Today, under warm temperatures and difficult conditions, Federica Brignone repeated her performance from last season with an impressive Super-G and Slalom runs to claim her third career Alpine Combined victory at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Skiing from first place after the Super-G, the Italian attacked Mont Lachaux with the fastest slalom run to finish 0.92 seconds ahead of an impressive Franziska Gritsch from Austria and 1.82 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Ester Ledecka.
Federica Brignone has now won four of the last five Ladies' Alpine combined World Cup events held in Crans-Montana, in 2017, 2018, 2019 and today.
"I don’t know what the magic [is] here in Crans-Montana for me, but it’s really amazing. The crowd is amazing. I don’t know. I feel a little bit lucky today, but it was a good fight. For sure, I made my race with the super G", reflected Brignone. "There is a kind of magic here. I’m always really comfortable with the snow and with this slope. Today, I wasn’t even stressed at the slalom. I just tried to do my best and really attack from the start to the finish".
She also takes the lead of the Overall (she is now 73 points ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin with 11 races remaining) and the Alpine Combined Standings with only one AC race to go in La Thuile. Last season she won the first and last Alpine Combined race in Crans-Montana, but no globe was awarded because the FIS rules require two races to be contested in order to award a discipline globe.
Franziska Gritsch, a 22 years old specialist in technical events, completes a surprising Super-G run in 5th place which, in addition to her technical slalom skills, allows her to grab the second seasonal podium after St.Moritz Parallel Race.
Ester Ledecka, who put together a great Super-G run added to an excellent slalom one, grab her third World Cup Podium after Lake Louise (1 place, Downhill, 2019) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (3 place, Downhill, 2020).

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Lara Gut Takes Double Victory in Crans-Montana



Second consecutive victory for Lara Gut in Crans-Montana. It was her 26th career World Cup victory.
All eyes were today on Gut-Behrami with bib 17, one position earlier than her start on Friday, to see if she could once again win despite progressively slowing conditions on the course.
"Yesterday I was in the flow from the top to finish. Today it was a little bit more complicated. The snow was a little bit softer, and I was struggling a few times with comparing the feeling I’ve had during this season. I didn’t trust myself 100 percent just to push. Sometimes I was a little bit too light on my turns. I’m happy anyway even if it wasn’t perfect or how I wanted it in my mind. I was happy to push and take risks", concluded Gut-Behrami who felt like she conquered her fears over the past two days. "Even if I made mistakes, I was just pushing forward. I mean, I won the race on the last three turns just because I didn’t give up and I tried to be fast and win meters from the top to the finish".
Corinne Suter repeats second place on the podium +0.02 behind Gut. With today's second-place Suter is crowned as the new speed queen. She is the first Swiss female skier to win the Downhill title since Chantal Bournissen won it in the 1990-1991 winter season.
Like in Friday’s Downhill, the Austrians also claimed third place on the day in one of the closest races of this season as Nina Ortlieb completes the podium (+0.05 s.). It was her first World Cup Podium.



Filip Zubcic Wins Giant Slalom in Yuzawa Naeba



Filip Zubcic writes history in Niigata Yuzawa Naeba (JPN), claiming his first-ever World Cup victory thanks to a phenomenal second run. Zubcic was sitting in 12th position after run 1 and clocked the fastest time in run 2, taking a spectacular victory in Naeba.
It's a historic day for Croatia, as Zubcic's victory marks the first Croatian World Cup victory outside the Kostelic family, the first one ever in Giant Slalom among the men.
"I am very proud to be the first Croatian man to win a World Cup Giant Slalom race. I was always hoping to win a World Cup race and I knew it could come this season as I have been skiing really fast lately. This victory is for my family and my team, who have been supporting me for the last 21 years!", said Zubcic.
Marco Odermatt, third after the first run, was one of the few who managed to stay in the top positions despite the rough course and celebrates today his second podium this season (+0.74s) after the Super G victory in Beaver Creek. The Swiss skier shows to be fully recovered after his knee injury in Alta Badia in December, which kept him far from competitions for around one month.
Tommy Ford also performs a significant comeback and closes in third (+1.07s), sealing his second career podium after winning the home race in Beaver Creek in December.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Lara Gut Wins Downhill in Crans-Montana



Two years and a month later, Lara Gut returns to the top of the podium with a resounding victory in the Downhill of Crans Montana. To find his last victory in a Downhill we have to go back one more year, to January 2017 in Cortina.
Crans Montana was the scene of a Swiss double in front of 7000 spectators cheering on their heroines. Lara Gut crossed the finish line in the lead in front of her teammate Corinne Suter, conquering her 8th World Cup wins in Downhill and 25th of World Cup career.
Corinne Suter, in second position +0.80 gets her fifth podium of the season. It's her third Downhill seasonal podium, and she still leads the Downhill standing on Ester Ledecka by 120 points. She will have the opportunity to close the Downhill standing leading before the World Cup finals in Cortina with tomorrow’s Downhill.
Stephanie Venier completes the podium +0.92 seconds back. It is the second podium of the season for the Austrian skier.
Petra Vlhova was fourth 1.08 behind, to score an unexpected 50 World Cup points for a career-best result in Downhill. The Slovakian slalom specialist only ever started one World Cup Downhill until last month in Bansko where she surprised with a 6th place reconfirmed by another top ten in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Crans-Montana/Valais 2025


In April 2019, Swiss-Ski, Crans-Montana, and the canton of Valais have submitted the candidacy of Crans-Montana for the World Ski Championships 2025 at the headquarters of the World Federation FIS in Oberhofen am Thunersee, Switzerland.
The first information session for candidates, in all disciplines, for the organization of the 2025 World Championships took place at the scheduled International Ski Federation meeting in Dubrovnik-Cavtat/CRO. In Alpine skiing, the candidates already disclosed to the general public are Garmisch-Partenkirchen/GER, Saalbach-Hinterglemm/AUT and Crans-Montana/Valais.
On January Marius Robyr, the executive director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid committee for the Ski World Championships in 2025, presented the project to the population of Valais. The local population was invited to Le Régent in Crans-Montana to hear details of the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 candidature project, which will be presented to the FIS in May.
Several notions that are important to the bid committee were central in the speech: authenticity, youth, sustainability, emotion, and passion. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Crans-Montana has a long tradition of alpine racing dating back to 1911.
On 7 January in 1911, the foundations for the fascinating history of skiing in Crans-Montana were laid. Englishman Sir Arnold Lunn, skiing pioneer, was the trailblazer, organizing the 1st downhill in the history of Alpine skiing from the Plaine Morte Glacier to Montana. From 1977 until 2019, Crans-Montana has organized some 47 FIS World Cup races and over 50 European Cup and FIS races, two World Cup finals 1992 and 1998, the European Cup finals in 2009, the Junior World Championships in 2011, as well as the unforgettable World Championships in 1987 on its Mont Lachaux and Nationale pistes.
In order to host this celebration of global skiing once again, the considerable budget for the organization amounts to some 77 million francs. For the event, the Haut-Plateau resort is going to build a completely modernized multi-purpose finish stadium, as well as offering more hotel infrastructure and also increase the capacity of parking and also the Violettes ski lift.
The Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 bid is considered an outsider against Germany’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen and especially against the Austrian candidate, Saalbach.
The resort which is to host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2025, will be decided at the 52nd FIS Congress in Thailand in May 2020.

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S2. E16. Saalbach and Kranjska Gora Review