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Lake Tahoe to bid for X Games winter event

By
From page A9 | January 23, 2013 |

LAKE TAHOE — The X Games could take place in Lake Tahoe between 2015 to 2017.

ESPN, which owns the X Games franchise, announced qualified entities representing cities today and Lake Tahoe was listed among the eligible destinations. Finalists will be determined by April and host cities will be announced by the end of the year.

The X Games bid is being sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Sports Organizing Committee, a new entity created to bring marquee events to the area and generate overnight stays while promoting Lake Tahoe to a global audience. Committee partners include the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, North Lake Tahoe Chamber/Convention & Visitors Bureau/Resort Association, Heavenly Mountain Resort and Squaw Valley amongst others.

According to ESPN, past X Games winter events have yielded substantial results for host cities. Aspen estimates that the X Games generates up to $10 million in identifiable benefits. The event, historically held in January or February, has attracted 20,000 to 25,000 spectators per day.

The broadcast distribution alone for the X Games Aspen 2012 reached 232 million homes in 192 countries and territories. Exposure included 3.6 million (and growing) Facebook fans. Social media mavens have also boosted the grassroots popularity of the event by capturing and sharing breathtaking photos, high-energy videos and real-time updates on athletes that demonstrate the appeal of the game.

“Hosting an event of this caliber would provide significant economic impact for the destination,” said Carol Chaplin, executive director of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “The demographics of the X Games align perfectly with attractions and appeal of Lake Tahoe and its combination of outdoor recreation, spectacular natural beauty and 24-hour lifestyle.”

“The X Games is a unique opportunity to showcase winter sports in Lake Tahoe to a targeted domestic and international audience,” added Andy Chapman, chief marketing officer of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/Convention & Visitors Bureau/Resort Association. “It’s a fantastic chance to tell the world about our phenomenal snow conditions, prestigious training grounds and the many and varied resorts that make up Lake Tahoe.”

The inaugural event was in 1995 and includes extreme sports ranging from Snowboarder-X (Boarder Cross), Slopestyle, Superpipe, Big Air/Best Trick, Snocross and Freestyle Snowmobiling.

Competitions would be conducted at Heavenly Mountain Resort and Squaw Valley.

“Lake Tahoe is the ideal stage for a competition as big as the X Games,” said Peter Sonntag, Vice President and General Manager of Heavenly Mountain Resort. “Combine unmatched scenic beauty with huge snow and a thriving nightlife and entertainment scene, and you’ve got an event that no one will want to miss.”

“We are proud to be associated with Vail Resorts and Heavenly along with our regional partners to work to bring the X Games to Lake Tahoe,” said President and CEO Andy Wirth of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “This is truly a partnership of high impact players from the region with a great deal of experience planning and staging world-class events. Over the last few decades, we’ve watched the X Games evolve.

“At its founding, the X Games revolutionized the landscape of winter sports and it continues to evolve and remain the single most impactful, admired and esteemed winter events, period. We sincerely hope to be a part of it the X Games’ incredible evolution.”

Lake Tahoe has been recognized by national media outlets, including Good Morning America, Travelocity, Orbitz, The New York Times, The Weather Channel, ESPN The Magazine, among others for its scenic splendor and reputation as a leader in outdoor recreation, entertainment and dining. USA Today readers recently ranked Lake Tahoe the “Best Lake in America” in a survey.

For more information, visit visitinglaketahoe.com.

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