Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Ski Tour is coming to town

Unprecedented event aimed to inject youth into Sun Valley


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Photo by Chris Pilaro

Sun Valley is getting ready to host The Honda Ski Tour, which is poised to be the latest in North America's new elite mountain festival and skiing competition tours. Inaugurating the tour on Thursday, Jan. 11, with a packed schedule of events through Sunday, Jan.15, Sun Valley will feature halfpipe and skiercross competitions as well as a BaseCamp Music Experience.

The Tour will host more than 10 musical acts as well as mountainside alpine festivities including a pro photo competition, film festival, street bonfires and an array of activities including après ski parties.

With successful events such as the X Games, which touts network television coverage and cutting edge snow riding competitions, The Ski Tour hopes to build the same enthusiasm around its four-stop competition and festival. In particular, Sun Valley hopes The Ski Tour will inspire an influx of the younger skiers and snowboarders.

The Ski Tour includes stops in Breckenridge, Colo., Aspen, Colo., and Squaw Valley, Calif. The Sun Valley leg of the tour will be televised in a one-hour show on ABC network television on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific. A halfpipe competition will include X Games medalist Simon Dumont and X Games competitors Matt Philippi, Laurent Favre and Justin Dorey. Each tour stop will offer prize money in total of $125,000.

Skiercross competition, "was created in the U.S. and now that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) has named it as a new Olympic event, interest in the states will soar," said The Ski Tour co-founder Kipp Nelson. "It's a racing format that suits our culture. Simple and exciting, it puts four racers on the hill at once and first one to the finish wins.

"Since Skiercross is the racing format for the new Ski Tour, no longer will Olympic format ski racing only be held in Europe in January, February and March. The world's best will be competing in the U.S. during the heart of the winter."

The Tour's BaseCamp Music Experience off the slopes will feature a main stage at the BaseCamp Music Pavilion that will be a heated 14,000-square-foot pavilion on East Avenue and Fourth Avenue and Sun Valley Road. Several Ketchum locations including Whiskey Jacques', the nexStage Theatre and the Roosevelt Tavern will feature evening music shows.

Headline music acts coming to Sun Valley will be Hinder, Three Days Grace, DJ Aero, the Wailers with DJ Logic, Swollen Members, Kamphire Collective, Elan with DJ Zuz, Don Carlos, Jillian Ann and Finger Eleven. A special VIP mansion party with Tommy Lee Jones will feature DJ Areo and Jillian Lee. There are a limited amount of bid only tickets for the VIP event.

The BaseCamp Music Pavilion will also feature the Limelight Film Festival, which will show action sports segments and action-adventure filmmaking as well as special guest appearances by world-class action sports athletes. In addition, renowned action sports photographers Scott Markewitz, Tony Harrington, Charlie Munsey, Corey Rich and Gene Dwarkin will present images of skiing, surfing, kayaking, climbing and many more action photographs from across the globe to win the Sun Valley Pro Photo Shootout. Attendees will be able to text message their vote for the best photographer.

For more information about The Ski Tour, visit theskitour.com.




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