GoPro Mountain Games brings the Rocky Mountains alive in its biggest year yet

2017-06-13

“The energy in town was absolutely phenomenal. At the GoPro Mountain Games there is something spectacular to do no matter if you are 2, 20, or 82,” said Vail Mayor Dave Chapin. “People were having a good time and the event was extremely well-run … it just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Organizers say they are expecting more than 70,000 spectators and 3,300 athletes took part in the event over four days, with Saturday’s attendance looking to make for one of the biggest days in the history of Vail. More than 140 brands were represented on-site at the L.L.Bean Gear Town.

Missy Franklin, Jimmy Chin, Shane Dorian, Dane Jackson, Joseph Gray and Alex Puccio were among the star athletes who attended or competed.

Free concerts rocked the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater June 9,10, and 11 with bands like Moon Taxi, the Marcus King Band, Keller Williams and headliners Nahko and Medicine for the People.

“Something I noticed was that there was an amazing representation of so many walks of life at this event, from rock stars at our free concerts to Olympic gold medalists, to big wave surfers and even famous dogs,” said Dave Dressman, vice president of sales and sponsorship for the Vail Valley Foundation. “And all of us get to go compete right alongside them, watch from the bank of the river, or cheer for the music at the Ford Amphitheater.”

Among the highlights was a moment when 5-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin learned to cast from Costa 2 Fly X-Stream overall winner Camille Egdorf to a standing-room-only crowd at the I-Bridge venue. Elsewhere, world-renowned slackliner Mickey Wilson flipped and balanced in rhythm with a Nahko and Medicine for the People set at the Amp, and legendary kayaker Eric Jackson showed he’s made of metaphorical iron as he became the oldest person (at 53) to ever run the Coors Light Homestake Steep Creek Championships.

“At its heart, this event is fueled by the underlying passion that so many people have for this event,” Dressman said.

In 2017 more than 140 brands came on board to be part of that passion, not only by activating on the event footprint in Vail Village, Lionshead, Red Cliff and Eagle but by creating an engaging and entertaining atmosphere at the L.L. Bean Gear Town, which winds throughout the venue.

Record crowds were able to spread out and enjoy an expanded footprint into Lionshead, allowing the sure-to-be-record crowds plenty of room to stretch out in shaded hammocks, learn to rock climb or kayak, try out fly casting or find a place to recuperate for that next athletic event.

“The weather was perfect and the quantity of beautiful imagery that will come out of the #GoProMtnGames over the next few weeks and into next year is going to be incredible,” Dressman said.

The next GoPro Mountain Games are tentatively scheduled for June 7-10, 2018. Stay a part of it year round with hashtag #GoProMtnGames, Facebook @mountaingames, Instagram @MountainGamesVail, and Twitter @MountainGames.

About the GoPro Mountain GamesThe GoPro Mountain Games, now heading toward its 17th year, is the country’s largest celebration of mountains sports, music, and culture. It has long been known for its ability to bring pro and amateur athletes together at the same event and welcome summer to the Rockies. The multi-venue, multi-sport extravaganza is an annual nexus for all walks of mountain life.

For more visit mountaingames.com, follow on Facebook and Twitter @MountainGames and on Instagram @MountainGamesVail | #GoProMTNGames

About the Vail Valley Foundation:Since 1981, the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation has fulfilled its mission: To enhance and sustain the quality of life in the Vail Valley by providing leadership in educational, athletic and cultural endeavors. By working together with private, government, and corporate entities, the Foundation is responsible for providing Eagle County, Colorado, with some of its most treasured annual events, such as the Mountain Games, Birds of Prey World Cup Races, American Ski Classic, Free Summer Concerts and the Vail Dance Festival. It also operates the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and the Vilar Performing Arts Center, and serves more than 4,000 children annually through its YouthPower365 education enrichment programming.

Visit www.vvf.org to learn more.

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