June 4 2010, 10:06 AM
The International Ski Federation has thrown a major bone to Vail and Beaver Creek, naming the ski resorts the site for the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships. The Denver Business Journal reports that the Colorado resorts beat out St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, for the two-week biennial event, which should bring some big crowds and money to Colorado. The 2009 championships in France drew 260,000 spectators to one of its events, with the final race drawing roughly 42,000. Vail and Beaver Creek hosted the event in 1999, the last time it was held in the United States, and it's been held in Europe ever since. The Metro Denver Sports Commission tells the Business Journal that the 2015 Ski Championships could give Denver an inside track to be a future host of the Snowboard World Cup Big Air. The Vail Daily reports that the 2015 event could also bring in money to finish several major projects, including EverVail, a proposed mixed-use, green resort at the base of Vail Mountain, and a new interchange at the Eagle County Regional Airport. "There aren't huge impacts during the (event) itself," says Frank Johnson of the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa. "There may be as many people scared off by the scene as are drawn to it. But the long-term impact is huge."