Once upon a time the town of Vail, Colorado was known for an epic line up of consistent annual events that drew large crowds to this charming Bavarian mountain town. Then exactly a year ago the first case of COVID was discovered in Colorado. A few short days later ski resorts shut down. We were all left wondering what the world would look like in the coming weeks and months. While we still don’t know exactly what lies ahead over the next few months, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With vaccination efforts well underway and continued social distancing in place, case counts and hospitalizations have declined. Our community is headed in the right direction.
The Vail Valley Foundation’s announcement this morning that GoPro Mountain Games will return June 10-13, 2021 brought an unexpected burst of joy to this resident’s heart. That the outdoor adventure sports competition will again feature whitewater sports, mountain biking, road biking, fishing, trail running, DockDogs, disc golf, yoga, a photo competition, three nights of GoPro Mountains of Music (livestreamed and limited in-person capacity) made the hope that I have been feeling about the future a bit brighter.
“We are BACK, and we could not be more excited to bring some joy, vitality and positivity into people’s lives in the fresh air and sunshine of this beautiful mountain setting,” said GoPro Mountain Games Event Director Dave Dressman.
This announcement really does just that — bring joy, vitality and positivity to our community. While spectator participation and activities are expected to be curtailed, and in some cases eliminated, due to ongoing public health restrictions, this announcement still signifies a return of some of the things we love so much about our home in the mountains of Colorado.
Dressman continues, “It takes months of planning and many, many key partners to make this event happen. The support we have received from our sponsors, the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts is remarkable, and it speaks to the power of the Mountain Games brand. We have looked at this from every angle and we feel confident we have a strong baseline plan to execute a safe, high-level, athlete-focused GoPro Mountain Games this June.”
Antlers General Manager says, “We understand that it “takes a Valley” to make such a wonderful event happen, and we cannot be happier and proud of the Town of Vail and the Eagle County for moving forward with this event. The Antlers at Vail is once again ready to support our community by providing discounted lodging rates for anyone who wants to enjoy the celebration of outdoor sports at the GoPro Mountain Games. We do this while taking our mission of keeping everyone healthy by following the Eagle County “5 commitments of Covid-19 Containment.”
Vail Valley Foundation organizers said they are going to take all the energy and excitement of the GoPro Mountain Games and concentrate it on core components of the event to ensure that both “pro and joe” athletes can get back to the water, trails, and competition after nearly a year of limited adventure sports competition opportunities.
The event will also include three nights of GoPro Mountains of Music headliner concerts (in-person and livestreamed) from the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, and a daily ‘SportsCenter-style’ live broadcast produced by Outside TV, which will open the livestream concert each evening. Athlete registration is expected to open April 9, 2021.
GoPro Mountain Games will kick off a new and improved season of 2021 summer events in Vail. This summer may look like a mesh of typical summers peppered with some of the adaptations we saw in summer of 2020. Last summer saw the introduction of a small stage at Ford Park, as well as small pop up performances throughout the villages. Those are likely to return and be incorporated into the schedule as large events return.
Based on funding the Vail Commission on Special Events has agreed upon you can expect a return in some possibly modified format of the Vail Farmers Market and Art Show, Bravo! Vail, Vail America Days, Vail Jazz Festival, Vail Oktoberfest and live music at the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater.
“The Commission on Special events is very pleased that many of the “iconic” summer events are well into planning for a return in 2021 and have received funding from the Town of Vail. There will be something for everyone to enjoy, as Vail welcomes back events such as the Vail Lacrosse Tournament, The King of The Mountain Volleyball Tournament, Vail Arts Festival, the Kids Adventure Games, Vail Craft Beer Classic, and Gourmet on Gore (just to name a few),” said Antlers Assistant General Manager and Commission of Special Events member Kim Newbury Rediker. “Our fresh air and wide open spaces are perfectly suited for hosting these outdoor events in a safe, yet fun, way.”