Record crowds, economic impact at 2015 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail Colorado provide strong indicator for growth in mountain sports industry

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VAIL, Colo., July 14 2015 — The crowds were bigger, the music more crowd-pleasing and the economic impact better than ever at the GoPro Mountain Games in 2015 as the Vail Valley Foundation reported record numbers for the event this year.

“It was pretty clear, for anyone who attended, that there was a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm at this year’s GoPro Mountain Games,” said Mike Imhof, Senior Vice President of Sales and Development for the Vail Valley Foundation, which organizes the event. “The GoPro Mountain Games has helped make this one of the biggest weeks of the year for our partners in the Valley, and we are already considering some exciting new options for next year, which will be the 15th year of the event.”

The 2015 GoPro Mountain Games, which took place in the Town of Vail on July 4-7, 2015, notched 62,079 spectators, according to an independent survey prepared by Intercept Insight, LLC. The survey also reported an economic impact of $4.87 million to the Town of Vail. 

“It’s a coming of age for many of these sports,” Imhof said. “For years, even decades, the athletes of these sports have been fueled purely by their passion for their respective sports, and a love of living in the mountains. Once a year, people at all levels of these sports get together and share that passion in front of tens of thousands of spectators, and show everybody why they love what they do.”

More than 210 volunteers gave their time to help make the Mountain Games happen, and more than 240 members of the media came to cover the action. A potential US TV audience of 197 million had access to the action on NBC Sports Network July 12 and on NBC during the event’s inclusion in ‘NBC World Adventure’ set to air August 1, 2015. 

For the first time, the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games also featured a full day of action on Thursday, June 4. As in previous years, the Coors Light Steep Creek Championships at Homestake Creek kicked off the four-day celebration of adventure, sports, art and music, but this year Gerber Gear Town and concerts kept the Vail Village vibrant all through the afternoon and evening.

Here are the highlights of the Intercept Insight survey:
• 62,079 spectators, an event record. 
• $4.87 million record economic impact to the Town of Vail.
• 38 percent of spectators do not visit Vail other times during the summer. 
• 43 percent of spectators do not visit Vail during the winter. 
• 83 Net Promoter Score & overall satisfaction of 4.8 out of 5 – a record for the GoPro Mountain Games. 
• Concert attendance is on the rise. Fewer people reported NOT attending any concerts. Significant jumps on Thursday and Friday concert attendance. 
• Favorite events: DockDogs, Kayaking, Slacklining, Bouldering.
• Record high Vail Valley Foundation awareness – 57 percent of event attendees know the GoPro Mountain Games is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.

The next Mountain Games event is scheduled for June 9-12, 2016 in Vail. 

About the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games:
The country's largest celebration of adventure sports, music, and the mountain lifestyle took place in Vail, June 4-7, 2015. Professional and amateur outdoor adventure athletes from the Vail Valley and around the world converged upon the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in nine sports and 25 disciplines including: X-country and road cycling, Freestyle, 8-Ball, Sprint and Extreme kayaking, R2 raft sprint & cross, World Cup Bouldering, Stand-up paddle sprint and Surf Cross, as well as trail, mud and road running, Disc Golf, dog comps, the Ultimate River Challenge and the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.

In addition to the athletic events, the GoPro Mountain Games included a mountain photography competition, adventure film school, film festival, five interactive exhibition and demo areas, live music, and mountain lifestyle parties.

The Mountain Games are a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.

About the Vail Valley Foundation:
Since 1981, the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation has fulfilled its mission: To enhance and sustain the spirit of the Vail Valley by providing leadership in educational, athletic and cultural endeavors.  Fueled by the generous support from private and corporate entities, the Foundation is responsible for providing this Colorado community with some of its most treasured annual events, such as the Mountain Games, Birds of Prey World Cup Races, American Ski Classic and the Vail International Dance Festival.

Media contact:
Tom Boyd
c. 970.331.3715
o. 970.777.2015