X Games could come to Heavenly
January 18, 2013
The X Games could come to Douglas County sometime in 2015-17 after Lake Tahoe was announced as one of the eligible sites on Thursday.Finalists will be determined by April and host cities will be announced by the end of the year. Competitions would be conducted at Heavenly Mountain Resort and Squaw Valley.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.“Hosting an event of this caliber would provide significant economic impact for the destination,” said Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority Executive Director Carol Chaplin. “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.”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. “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.”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.The inaugural event was in 1995 and includes extreme sports (hence the name) ranging from Snowboarder-X (Boarder Cross), Slopestyle, Superpipe, Big Air/Best Trick, Snocross and Freestyle Snowmobiling.