Heavenly bumps World Cup event from 2000-2001 calendar
The biggest sporting event in the world – the Super Bowl – has bumped off the most significant event on Heavenly Ski Resort’s 2000-2001 activity calendar.
Heavenly has dropped plans to host a World Cup freestyle event for the third straight year because of a scheduling conflict with National Football League’s championship game the last weekend in January.
“Unfortunately we’re not going to host it,” said Monica Bandows, communications director at Heavenly. “We love the event and we hope to get it back in the future.”
Losing the event may impact four South Lake Tahoe moguls skiers’ chances to participate in a World Cup event during the upcoming season. Without full-time World Cup spots, Travis Cabral, Travis Ramos, Chris Hernandez and Brooke Ballachey must qualify for the circuit’s stops in the United States. In past years, the United States has made special consideration for some of the competitors so they can compete in their hometowns.
“It’s nice having one in your hometown because you’re the big star in the crowd,” Cabral said. “This event is actually easier on the mind performing in front of your hometown, but I’m going to do what I’m going to do no matter where I am.”
Besides the obvious pull of potential customers away from the mountain to watch the Super Bowl on big-screen TVs in the casinos, Bandows said that lodging the competitors and event organizers would have been unfeasible that weekend.
“We can’t ask them to give us rooms on their busiest weekend of the year. It wasn’t going to be an option for us,” Bandows said.
Horizon Casino Resort has been the host site for competitors, coaches and World Cup officials the past two years. Cabral said his fellow World Cup competitors will be distraught when they learn that Heavenly won’t be on their calendar next season.
“They really like it up here and everyone I’ve talked to is pleased with how Heavenly puts it on,” Cabral said. “Everything is set up right at the Horizon. The mountain isn’t too far away, we have free meals and everything is really organized. A lot of time at the other World Cups we have a few things organized and some things you have to do on your own.”
Heavenly had hoped to get the date moved back after the late arrival of snow last winter forced the resort to make most of the snow for the mogul and aerial sites.
“There were not other dates that would work with the World Cup schedule and U.S. team schedule,” Bandows said. “We’re a little bummed because the exposure is just awesome.”
While awaiting its next opportunity to host a World Cup freestyle event, Heavenly plans to minimize its snowmaking responsibilities by building a permanent jump structure.
“It’s a couple years out and we’ll need the proper TRPA permits, but we need some sort of structure that would make it so we wouldn’t have to make all that snow,” Bandows said. “We feel confident we can get the event back down the road.”
The World Cup didn’t compensate Heavenly for the thousands of dollars of snowmaking needed to cover the moguls course and build the jump site.
According to Bandows, Heavenly loses money on all of its specials events, including World Cup.
“That has no effect on holding the event. We hold them because the exposure is excellent, plus it’s prestigious to host a World Cup event.”
Cabral, the men’s 1999 national bump champion, says the competitors will also miss the spectacular venue on Gunbarrel run, which allows bumpers to perform in a spectator-friendly arena overlooking the main lodge.
“It’s definitely one of the best World Cup courses. The pitch is perfect,” Cabral said.
Sunday River, Maine, has decided to host the World Cup competition in place of its American Ski Company sister resort, Heavenly.
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