Summer did not come quickly to Vail this year – but when it arrived, it did so in full-force.
The GoPro Mountain Games in Vail have become the traditional signal of summertime’s opening in the mountains, and recent snow seemed like a distant memory as tens of thousands came here to compete or spectate in what has become the world’s largest celebration of mountain sports, music, and lifestyle in the world.
“We had a wonderful turnout, the weather was spectacular, and our new events and venue layouts created an incredible experience for everyone who took part in the GoPro Mountain Games,” said Mike Imhof, President of the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation, which has hosted the event since 2009. “We extend our congratulations to all the athletes, and our entire team of staff, volunteers, athletes, media, partners and sponsors. Each play a critical role in this unique project and we hope these past four days was a memorable experience for all of our spectators: locals and visitors alike.”
The event brings competitors and spectators from around the globe. In 2018 the event recorded 80,000+ spectators, 3,100+ individual athletes, and a $6.2m economic impact to the Town of Vail.
Organizers said early indications are that the 2019 Mountain Games met or exceeded 2018 numbers, but that they would be able to provide official spectator and athlete data in coming weeks.
The GoPro Mountain Games include 12+ sport disciplines in more than 30 different events, as well as 140+ sponsor booths, several free kids’ events, music in the streets and free concerts Thursday-Saturday at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
More than 350 Vail Valley Foundation volunteers came out to welcome locals and visitors alike to the event.
“Vail Valley Foundation is extremely thankful to our wonderful volunteers,” Imhof said. “We also extend our sincere thanks to all our partners and sponsors who helped make this year’s event a resounding success. It’s a team effort, and it requires tremendous support from this community and beyond to make the GoPro Mountain Games.”
Along with GoPro, which is the Mountain Games’ title sponsor, Imhof thanked the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, GMC, and TIAA Bank; all of which are cornerstone partners of the event.
Television coverage and official video of the event is provided by OutsideTV, hosted by Chris Davenport and Pat Parnell, and Outside Magazine was on site as the official media sponsor of the GoPro Mountain Games.
Organizers expect more than 1 billion total media impressions to be generated from the event – on social media, television, print and online media sources. Pro athletes and social media stars like Kai Lenny, Brooks Laich, Loki the Wolfdog, Nick Troutman, Joseph Gray, Ashima Shiraishi, Kyra Condie, and many others were also on site, adding energy and online visibility to the event.
Among the highlights:
- New format for GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge
- A new highline and slackline venue and competition schedule
- New fishing events added an element of whitewater
- Amateurs + their canine companions got to try out the ever-popular DockDogs competition
- There was a whole lot of family-friendly fun
Next year’s GoPro Mountain Games are set to take place June 4-7, once again in Vail, Colorado.