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Thousands Drawn To Killington For Winter Dew Tour

February 15, 2012 8:00 am Category: Killington, News, Sports Schedules Leave a comment A+ / A-

This article first appeared in the January 26th, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard.
Click Here For The Photo Gallery
By Stephen McKay
Special To The Standard
KILLINGTON – Early indications are that the Winter Dew Tour’s Pantech Invitational last weekend was a win-win for the town and ski area.
For the second straight year Killington Mountain Resort hosted the second of three legs of the Dew Tour at Bear Mountain. The tour includes many of the worlds top freeski and snowboard athletes competing on slopestyle and superpipe courses. The Pantech Invitational was the largest snow sports event held in the east this year.
The resort and town expected about 30,000 people would attend the four-day event which concluded on Sunday. That’s about the number that attended the 2011 Dew Tour stop at Killington. Though it is too early to obtain exact numbers Suzie Dundas, Killington town’s Interim Director of Economic Development and Tourism, believes the event drew more than expected.
“I think it’s a pretty safe bet that there were more people here this year than last year,” Dundas said. “In time we will have a better idea of how the Dew Tour affected area businesses.”
Though Dundas’ impressions are anecdotal, her impressions are shaped by several conversations with area lodging outlets.
“Those I spoke to were completely booked,” she said without mentioning any outlets specifically. A couple of businesses the Vermont Standard contacted were very positive.
“The Dew Tour was excellent for us,” said Ashley Smith a receptionist at the 30-unit Chalet Killington on Killington Road.
“Last year we had a couple or three rooms vacant. This year we were completely booked. It seemed the whole town was busier than last year.”
Craig Brothers, manager of the Phat Italian delicatessen on the access road agreed, “We’re always busy on the weekends but we were extremely busy this weekend,” he said. “Our busiest times also shifted to earlier in the morning as people wanted to get out to Bear (Mountain) to watch.”
“It was a younger crowd than we usually see too,” added Brothers.
Dundas’ favorable impressions were also guided by her attendance at both the 2011 and 2012 events.
As time goes on the town will poll area businesses to find out how the Killington business community felt.
Why the Dew Tour crowds likely increased from last year are at least two fold, Dundas believes. The 2011 event was marked by extremely cold temperatures each day of the event. Except for a bitter cold start to Sunday, the 2012 tour was considerably warmer. Also the Dew Tour, in its fourth year overall, is a more established event now than it was last year. Additionally, snowfall earlier in the week and on Saturday is always good news for the ski industry.
As for the athletic competition, it began on a somber note as athletes and fans learned of the death on Thursday of 29-year-old Canadian Sarah Burke from injuries sustained earlier this month. Burke, a native of British Columbia, was a four-time Winter X Games champion in ski superpipe. She was also instrumental in getting her sport accepted as an Olympic sport. Freeskiers will compete in the superpipe for the first time at the XXII Olympic Winter Games at Sochi, Russia in 2014.
Burke had crashed during a training run on the same halfpipe course at Park City, Utah where Hartland native Kevin Pearce sustained his traumatic brain injury on Dec. 31, 2009. After a two-year struggle Pearce has only recently made it back to riding. Though his competitive career is over Pearce is staying close to his passion with transition to snowboard filming and other like endeavors.
For the rest of the competition thoughts of Burke were never far away. Athletes held a moment of silence on Friday morning at the base of the Killington superpipe. On the helmets, ski’s and boards of many were small, hand-written tributes to Burke.
Said Maddie Bowman, winner of the women’s ski superpipe on Saturday, “She was so kind-hearted. We’re skiing for her always, she’ll never be forgotten by us.”
Including Bowman’s victory in the women’s ski superpipe there were three finals held on Saturday. The men’s snowboard slopestyle and superpipe were also decided 
Bowman earned her victory by edging out Devin Logan of Dover, Vt. and Brita Sigourney of Carmel, Calif. Bowman is also in the lead in the Dew Cup chase.
The Dew Cup is awarded to the athlete who compiles the most points in each event throughout the three-tour series. The first Dew Tour events were held in Breckenridge, Colo. last month.
Eric Willett of Breckenridge, Colo. placed first in the men’s snowboard slopestyle. But second-place finisher Sebastien Toutant of Canada keeps the lead in the race for the Dew Cup with Willet in third.
The last event final of Saturday, broadcast live on NBC, saw 16-year-old Torin Yater-Wallace become the youngest ever Dew Tour winner. Yater-Wallace won the ski superpipe event by throwing down the two best run’s of the competition. Kevin Rolland, the Dew Cup and Killington winner from 2011 came in fifth. But Rolland’s strong showing at Breckenridge last month has him still in the lead in the Dew Cup standings with Yater-Wallace second.
Three more final events were held on Sunday. The gray skies and occasional snow fall of Saturday gave way to bright blue skies and bitter cold temperatures by Sunday morning. By 10 a.m., when the women had begun the ski slopestyle final, temperatures had just begun to creep into the single digits after the below-zero numbers of early morning.
Cold temperatures were no problem for Canadian Kaya Turski as she edged out Logan and Emilia Wint of Denver, Colo. Turski also takes the lead in the Dew Cup standings with Logan second.
Robert Megnin, Killington’s Director of Sales, Marketing and Reservations, had the honor making the podium presentations after the men’s and women’s slopestyle finals.=
The temperatures had managed to creep up to the mid teens when the men took to slopestyle course. Bobby Brown of Breckenridge, Colo., put down the best score of the competition in round one, but was edged out on the last run of the event. Tom Wallisch of Pittsburgh, Pa. put up a record Dew Tour score for the discipline to beat out Brown.
Wallisch entered his second of two runs in 14th and last place after falling on the final jump of his first run. Since only the best of two runs are considered in final scoring, podium placings are never secure until the event is over.
“I’m trying to convince myself that I’m a second-run skier,” said Wallisch. “I get a good mindset, picture myself at the bottom and let my body do the work.”
The final event of the competition, the men’s snowboard superpipe final, was also broadcast live on NBC. Pre-race favorite Louie Vito of Ohio had to settle for second after he was knocked off by another record Dew Tour score. Iouri Podadchikov, a Russian native now riding for Switzerland, edged out Vito after a stellar second run. Podachikov also took a two-point lead in the Dew Cup standings.
The final event of the Dew Tour takes place Feb. 9-12 at Snowbasin Resort in Ogden, Utah where the Dew Cups will be awarded.

Thousands Drawn To Killington For Winter Dew Tour Reviewed by on . This article first appeared in the January 26th, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard. Click Here For The Photo Gallery By Stephen McKay Special To The Standard This article first appeared in the January 26th, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard. Click Here For The Photo Gallery By Stephen McKay Special To The Standard Rating:

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