Granby Ranch to host World Pro Ski Tour
What may be the biggest ski event to ever grace the slopes of Granby Ranch arrives at the ski resort next month.
Granby Ranch will be one of four stops on the World Pro Ski Tour, according to the schedule announced Wednesday. The tour begins Dec. 10-12 in Aspen, stopping Dec. 17-19 in Granby Ranch and Feb. 13-15 at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.
The championships will be held in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, with dates to be announced.
“We are honored to host it,” said Andy Wirth, CEO of Ridgeline Executive Group, the company that manages ski operations Granby Ranch. “We are honored to be in a place to join the likes of Taos, Aspen and Steamboat. This little mountain with a big heart, Granby Ranch, is now standing in line with some of the great ski resorts in North America.”
World Pro Ski Tour features a dual format of alpine ski racing, where two skiers race down the mountain side by side. Each stop on the tour will host two or three separate races, where athletes race each other in a single-elimination, bracket-style competition with an excitement akin to drag racing on snow, according to organizers.
Wirth explained that the competition would take place on the ski resort’s west mountain. He added that Granby Ranch spent the summer investing millions of dollars into upgrading its snowmaking equipment.
Granby Ranch’s west mountain offers more advanced and expert terrain with steeper pitches, but often opened later in the season than the more beginner-friendly east mountain due to a lack of coverage.
Wirth saw that adding more snowmaking to the west mountain would pull some of the demand off the other lift early in the ski season, but also provide an opportunity to make that terrain into a race training and race venue.
With these improvements, Wirth wanted to see if there was any interest in hosting events on the mountain. He invited some friends from the ski industry to a site visit, including Jon Franklin, CEO of the Winter Pro Ski Tour.
“He didn’t just say yes, he said heck yes,” Wirth said.
Two-time Olympians Alice McKennis and Laurenne Ross, Canadian Olympian Anna Goodman, and US Ski Team alum and NCAA Giant Slalom champion Lindsey Cone are expected to compete in the World Pro Ski Tour.
The men’s competitors will include two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety, National Parallel Champion Garret Driller and two-time World Pro Ski Tour Overall Champion Rob Cone.
Wirth was pretty certain that this would be the biggest ski event to ever take place at Granby Ranch, and added that brand new and lifelong skiers alike would enjoy watching the uniquely formatted event.
“It’s also a community event, and we hope people come out to take it all in,” he said.
According to organizers, the World Pro Ski Tour is viewed by millions and broadcasted on the CBS Sports Network and live on Flolive.tv. More details on the tour schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.