Ski resorts that host top Skiing and Snowboarding events
Snowboarding is a sport of continuous evolution. Think Winter X Games at Aspen
Buttermilk and US
Open at Vail in the Superpipe! Riding has changed the way we think
about the sport of skiing since the early 80’s, and even polarized the ski
community - those who loved or hated the one plank sport. It has changed our terrain
with the emergence of jumps, halfpipes, rails and staircases, and changed the
style of events on the slopes from ski racing in gates to rail jams, terrain
park sessions and big air contests. Snowboarding has changed ski slope apparel,
vocabulary, the shape and size of skis, you name it. So it shouldn’t come as a
surprise that the definitive snowboard competition, the Burton US Open,
switched its venue. After 27 years at Stratton
Mountain Resort in Vermont, Burton’s US Open moved
out west to Vail, Colorado.
The first US Open snowboarding competition occurred in 1982 at
Suicide Six, a traditionally small race hill in
Woodstock Vermont. Competitors had to hike up Snow Valley in Manchester Vermont
in the 2nd and 3rd year of the National Snowboarding Championships. In 1985,
nearby Stratton became the host of the US Open Snowboarding Championships, where
the venue was officially named and remained through its 30th anniversary in
2012, making it the longest-running snowboarding competition in the world.
The US Open changed the way we looked at snowboarding - not just a new snow toy
to throw tricks, but serious competition with a high caliber of athletes. Backed
by the godfather of snowboarding himself, Jake Burton, the event put riding on
the map. In fact, IOC judges attended the US Open as part of their deliberation
over allowing snowboarding in the Winter Games, It was determined in 1996 that
snowboarding would be featured in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan with Snowboarding halfpipe and racing.
Snowboard cross arrived in 2006 in Turin Italy, preceding skier cross which
debuted in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Slopestyle snowboarding finally became Olympic events in Sochi Russia in 2014.
The US Open draws over 30,000 fans and riders from all over the globe. It is
also traditionally a big party for fans and high flying riders alike. At
Stratton Mountain Resort, you would see
Vermont snowboard heroes Kelly Clark, Ross Powers and Hannah Teter, and big
names like Danny Kass, Gretchen Bleiler, and Shaun White.
Now Vail will have the honors, and has plans to
construct a slopestyle course and huge 22-foot superpipe on Golden Peak, a
bigger – potentially better venue than Stratton with more a festival atmosphere
and free live music concerts for spectators and riders alike.
According to Ski Area Management magazine, Burton founder Jake Burton said, “I
want to thank Stratton Mountain in Vermont where the US Open took place for so
long. Stratton not only hosted the Open for 27 years, but also played a pivotal
role in making resort riding a reality. As we look to the future progression of
the US Open, I feel that Vail offers us the ideal venue to host the event. Vail
is an incredible mountain and has been my snowboarding home-away-from-home for
over 20 years. I have no doubt that the US Open at Vail will only grow in its
legacy as the premier rider-driven event in the world.”
The Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships will take place in
Vail, Colorado late Feb. March, the 35thUS Open.
The 15th Winter X Games take place in Aspen, Colorado at Buttermilk,
Jan 28-31, 2016. Aspen has been the exclusive host of this ski and snowboard
venue, even though Whistler made a bid to host - Aspen won for two more years
through 2014. Potential ski resort host after that include
Le Massif in Quebec,
Park City Utah and Lake Tahoe California. Winter X Games are traditionally timed by ESPN to air that weekend
between the NFL's conference championship games and the Super Bowl.