Little is known of Park City’s Winter X Games bid
January 22, 2013
The key players in the local bid for the Winter X Games have released virtually no details about the efforts to woo the event to Park City, even as the community has qualified for another round in the bidding process.
The Park City Chamber/Bureau appears to be leading the efforts and has engaged the three mountain resorts at some level recently. Had there not been interest among some or all of the resorts, it is unlikely the bid would have been submitted to ESPN, the television network that owns the X Games franchise.
The Chamber/Bureau has declined to comment extensively about the bidding process and did not discuss details once Park City qualified to advance. It said early on that it wanted to convene a meeting with Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and Canyons about the prospects of a bid. The direction of those discussions, held in late 2012, was not spoken about at length publicly. City Hall has also probably been involved in the early discussions at some level.
It seems that there could be Winter X Games possibilities at each of the three mountain resorts. It also is likely that a Winter X Games blueprint would include some sort of celebration, or a series of them, perhaps at the resorts themselves or on Main Street. Winter sports events have long been celebrated on Main Street with concerts, fireworks and other festivities, most memorably turning the street into a pedestrian-only celebration zone during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Some of the competitions that are now included in the Winter X Games program include:
Deer Valley Resort would presumably be uninterested in the snowboarding events given its skier-only policy. The rest of the events, though, seem to be possible at any of the three.
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Aspen, Colo., the longtime host of the Winter X Games, holds all of the events at one of the mountain resorts there, Buttermilk. There are three other mountain resorts in the Aspen area that do not host Winter X Games competitions.
The Winter X Games is currently a four-day event, lasting from a Thursday until the following Sunday. This year’s event opens on Thursday in Aspen, with activities scheduled to run from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. that day, according to a schedule posted on the Aspen-Snowmass tourism website.
Park City last week was named as one of at least four locations in North America that qualified to advance in the bidding. The other three identified by ESPN were Aspen Snowmass, the Lake Tahoe region in California and Nevada and Quebec City and Le Massif de Charlevoix in Canada.
The locales are competing to host the Winter X Games in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Official proposals are due to ESPN by April 2. The network will then name the finalists and conduct site surveys and site visits. It anticipates choosing the host for 2015-2017 before February 2014.