TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - Bank of the West announced it signed on as presenting sponsor of Rahlves' Banzai Tour, a downhill ski and snowboard event created by Daron Rahlves, the most decorated American downhill and Super G skier in U.S. history. The tour spans four weekends, Feb. 2-March 10 at four of Tahoe's resorts.
"We're pleased to be a part of an exciting local event that draws professional and amateur skiers and snowboarders and fans from around the country to the Tahoe-Reno area," said Kevin LeVezu, regional business banking manager at Bank of the West. "Not only is Daron Rahlves an incredible athlete and inspiration to those in the sport, he's also a member of our tight-knit community. We're proud to support local businesses and entrepreneurs who are contributing to the economy and quality of life in the region."
Rahlves' Banzai Tour is a unique race in that athletes compete four at a time, head-to-head on an un-groomed, natural terrain course. Winners from each stop advance to the Sugar Bowl Super Final race to compete against Rahlves. Rahlves, a Truckee resident, is a former World Champion, 12-time World Cup winner, X-Games gold medalist and four-time Olympic skier.
"Spectators and all levels of skiers and snowboarders come out to watch this spirited race and to witness great technical skill and daring on the course," said Daron Rahlves. "We're expecting a great turn out at all the stops. The resorts have been booked out and we're seeing incredible conditions for everyone coming out to enjoy the area. The skiing's amazing right now."
The tour will draw ski and snowboard enthusiasts and spectators during the area's peak ski season. According to published research, about three million people visit Lake Tahoe every year. During the winter months, an estimated 66 percent of its visitors come from California with visitor spending in the area generating more than 60 percent of earnings and approximately 66 percent of all employment in the area.
"The significant early season snowfall has been a boost to retailers, restaurants and hotels," said LeVezu. "Local merchants and the resorts are expecting a higher than average visitor turnout. Everyone's looking forward to a very positive 2013 ski season."
Competitors and spectators can join at the following tour stops:
Feb. 2-3, Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Feb. 9-10, Alpine Meadows
March 2-3, Squaw Valley
March 9-10, Sugar Bowl Resort
Visit www.rahlvesbanzai.com or find the tour on Facebook.
About Bank of the West
Founded in 1874, $63 billion-asset Bank of the West is a member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees. Visit www.bankofthewest.com.