There’s been much speculation among pro snowboarders and fans of snowboarding regarding Burton’s announcement yesterday, July 30, 2012, to move the U.S. Open of Snowboarding, which has been held at Stratton, VT for 27 years, to Vail, CO for the event February 25-March 2, 2013. More traditional riders feel the heritage of the sport is shifting with the new venue choice, which now at Vail means it will be able accommodate more people in a festival-like atmosphere, and be easier to get to overall. As Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards and the U.S. Open pointed out, “As we look to the future progression of the US Open, I feel that Vail offers us the ideal venue to host the event.”
Like ASP surfing events moving from out-of-the-way destinations to urban environment to attract more people and coverage, so too, is snowboarding in need of growing the sport not only for riders but for fans.
Burton Snowboards and Vail Mountain officially announced today that the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships is moving to Vail, Colorado starting in 2013. The 31stedition of the US Open will take place at Vail’s Golden Peak from February 25 – March 2, 2013.
To commemorate this news, key members of the snowboard community gathered in Vail last week to get a first look at the venue, including the proposed 22-foot halfpipe location at Golden Peak, and hear from Burton andVail representatives about the vision and evolution for the event moving forward. Burton pro riders Kelly Clark and Mark McMorris were among the group in Vail, and had this to say:
“The US Open is one of my favorite events by far, and I couldn’t be more excited about its next evolution,” stated five-time US Open halfpipe champ and three-time Olympian Kelly Clark of West Dover, Vermont. “Burton has always been about progressing the sport and doing what’s best for snowboarders, and I truly believe that this move to Vail will make the Open even better for theriders and the thousands of fans who come out to watch.”
“I also couldn’t be more stoked on this,” added two-time X-Games Gold Medalist Mark McMorris of Regina, Canada. “Ever since I started snowboarding, the US Open was always the main show, and knowing what Burton and Vail have in store to take this contest to the next level makes me so excited to compete there this winter.”
The Burton US Open, which first took place in 1982, is now the longest-running snowboarding competition in the world. And like the sport itself, the event has morphed and changed over the past three decades – changes that not only included moving mountain locations from Suicide Six to Snow Valley to Stratton, but also changes that addressed the level of snowboarding and needs of the riders each year. Burton Founder & CEO Jake Burton has played a vital role at every step of the US Open’s history and had this to say:
“First off, I just want to thank Stratton Mountain in Vermont where the US Open took place for so long,” said Jake. “Stratton not only hosted the Open for 27 years, but also played a pivotal role in making resort riding a reality. And 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.”
Planning between Burton and Vail is well underway for the 2013 US Open, which includes securing final U.S. Forest Service approvals to relocate Vail’s halfpipe to a more favorable position on Golden Peak. In addition, Golden Peak’s base area will be transformed into a festival-like village with a host of exciting activities and experiences, including free, live music concerts for all riders and spectators.
“When Burton decided to move the US Open out west after 30 successful years back east, we were delighted that they chose Vail for such an important event. We look forward to hosting the world’s best snowboarders at Vail. We believe it’s a perfect marriage of two great brands in the winter sports industry and we’ll do our utmost to make this a tremendously successful endeavor,” said Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts’ mountain division.
The 2013 US Open will take place at Vail Mountain from February 25-March 2, 2013. For ongoing updates and info please visit www.opensnowboarding.com throughout the season.
Check out the video featuring Mark McMorris and Kelly Clark meeting with Snow Park Technologies and the crew at Vail to check out the new course.