Killington sets ambitious goals for 2018 World Cup
Inspection season has officially kicked off as FIS race directors and sport staff travel to host sites to meet with local organizing committee (LOC) members in preparation for the 2018/19 Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Summer is an opportune time to review, evaluate, and improve on various aspects of each event to ensure that safety, course preparation, course set, camera positions, and other technical details are at the highest level possible.
FIS ladies’ staff including Chief Race Director Atle Skaardal met with members of the Killington World Cup LOC and representatives from U.S. Ski and Snowboard last week at the race site in Vermont (USA). For the third year in a row, Killington is slated to host ladies’ giant slalom and slalom races during the Thanksgiving Weekend 24-25 November 2018. The venue hopes to host again in 2019 but an official decision regarding the long-term calendar is yet to be announced.
“From FIS’ side, it’s a big desire and wish to be able to return to Killington in the future to continue the really good start we’ve had here. We’ve also heard very positive feedback from many additional stakeholders regarding the market and interest and also the practical work and service that has been done here for everyone attending the World Cup,” noted Skaardal.
Killington World Cup Chair Herwig Demschar opened the FIS inspection and first LOC meeting of the year by expressing his desire for constant improvement at the event. Despite impressive successes in the first two years of hosting, including remarkable fan attendance, Demschar sees the opportunity to build on past results to enhance the experience in the future.
“Don’t recreate what you just did. Go back to where you started, focus on the process of what you did, and add what you want to do better,” Demschar remarked to those in attendance representing a number of departments.
The goal of the Killington LOC is to create an all-encompassing entertainment event that draws a record number of spectators to the ski races. Demschar noted that they once again plan to bring in a big-name musical act for the 2018 edition to pair an appealing concert with the races. The 2016 and 2017 events included concerts by major headliners O.A.R. and Dispatch, but the musical lineup for 2018 is yet to be determined.
The Killington volunteers who work tirelessly in the weeks and days leading up to and then through the races have named themselves “The Beast Crew” for all future events. Their service and courtesy will be depended on especially if the LOC is successful in breaking the spectator record and bringing even bigger masses to the venue this coming November. Killington proved it can respond to overflow with improved transportation and facilities in 2017, and it hopes to provide even better service at this year’s event by pushing past what has already been done to reach the next level.