North American Cups
Stowe is gearing up for two big weeks of ski racing this winter, a North American Cup race series in February at Stowe Mountain Resort and the Junior National Nordic Ski Championships during the first week of March at the Trapp Family Lodge.
The organizing committee for the Stowe Junior Nationals has set out a detailed program for the event that they believe will enable visitors to connect with the community, and locals to connect with the March 1-8 event. The program includes opening ceremonies in the village and at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum on Main Street, and marketing that will literally put “Keys to Stowe” into the hands of every visitor and local, unlocking all sorts of fun and opportunities.
The Key to Stowe program is at the heart of the junior nationals group’s marketing. Businesses are being asked to become “Keys to Stowe” partners for a fee of $50; each business will be given posters to place in their business to indicate their participation and “keys” to distribute to anyone who wants one. Keys will also be included in the welcome packets for racers and coaches. Some 4,000 keys will be distributed.
The idea is that participating “Junior National Key” businesses will offer special deals and/or products leading up to and during the event both to increase sales and show their support for the event and the athletes, coaches and their teams in Stowe.
“It’s our way of bringing the whole community into the spirit and fun of the Junior Nationals, and so that businesses can connect to these hundreds of visitors,” said Junior Nationals marketing coordinator Brooke Mitchell.
The Junior Nationals are expected to draw about 1,000 athletes, coaches and support staff, and as many as 2,500 visitors total on race days. The races, which will take place over the course of the week, bring together the best young Nordic talent in America.
For the event, the organizing group plans to host ceremonies on Main Street in the village on Sunday afternoon, March 2. If all goes according to plan, the village and the Mountain Road will be twinkling in white lights, a decoration touch organizers are working on with local businesses.
Organizers plan to produce a 20-page race guide, complete with a map to activities, shopping, spa services and dining. In addition, the Stowe Reporter is producing a Junior Nationals Race Edition on Feb. 27, packed with details about the event and the community and the history of Nordic skiing in these mountains.
Organizers have already begun laying the marketing groundwork and raising money to offset the cost of running the event. Some area businesses have started offering special Junior Nationals deals and making specialty products — Topnotch and Laughing Moon Chocolates, to name two — with some of the sales proceeds going to help put on the event.
For more information about the Junior Nationals: jn2014stowe.com.
A month before the best Nordies will be at Trapps, the best alpine skiers in North American will be racing on Spruce Peak.
The Stowe North American Cup races — two slaloms and two giant slaloms — will take place Feb. 3-6. This is the highest-level alpine ski racing to come to Stowe in recent memory. The races will features men only; the women on the NorAm tour will be racing in Maine.
Major American, Canadian and international ski racers will compete on what has quickly become the premier racing trail in the East, Main Street on Spruce Peak.
The Mt. Mansfield Ski Club staff and membership will be organizing and hosting the races. Many course-work volunteers will be needed.