No King: ‘Village Downhill’ moves to JHMR

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – A beloved community ski racing event will move out of town and into Teton Village.

Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club (JHSC) approached the Mountain Resort following a spring retreat of JHSC board and staff in June. JHMR agreed to host the event on the Crags-Moran speed venue off of the Teton lift, and planning has since been underway for the event that takes place March 13-15. Fish Creek Excavation will remain the event’s title sponsor.

“Our primary focus is to keep this event alive and well, while also ensuring that it succeeds in advancing the club’s mission, providing opportunities and funding for our student-athletes,” said JHSC executive director Brian Krill. “The move to JHMR is not necessarily permanent, but offers significant advantages to run a more sustainable and beneficial event for the club.”

In 2018, just weeks from the event, the Town Downhill had to be moved out to the village. It was the first time since its inception in 1982 that the race had taken place anywhere but Snow King Mountain.

“In 2018, we had to move the event to JHMR due to a lack of snow, JHSC chief marketing officer Jeff Moran said. “That year, even on very short notice, we saw more participation in both the race and the evening activities. There was some new life for the event.”

The 37th running of the event took place at Snow King last year at the “Mini Hahnenkamm” course at Snow King. The race remains one of the few remaining non-sanctioned community downhill races.

Adam McCool has run the Town Downhill (no matter where it has been held) every year during the 37-year history of the event.

“Of course there is some disappointment about going away from tradition. But, I’m excited about the new event structure and the possibilities this represents for the club and community,” McCool said. “All said, the most important thing is that this event lives on and succeeds. I think this will attract more old-timers, raise the bar and make it more competitive, while bringing in some real pros to lead these teams.”

JHSC offered a list of criteria for the reasoning behind the decision to move the event.

  • A more accessible and less daunting course for attracting and accommodating a broader participant pool, whether community members or high-level racers.
  • A greater audience due to additional marketing from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, as well as the use of additional venues and activities in Teton Village throughout the weekend.
  • A block of exciting alpine ski racing. Relocating the Jackson Hole Downhill will align it with Wyoming High School Alpine Skiing Championships and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Western Region U19 Championships—creating a week of racing all on the same venue. This also presents JHSC athletes as well as athletes from around the western region an opportunity to get valuable training and run the speed course.
  • A more efficient event, so that one course can be used for all three races. The efficiencies of setting up this venue for these multiple events and opportunities is significant for all involved.

The Jackson Hole Downhill event structure will include most of the traditional aspects of a “Town Downhill,” including an open community race on Saturday featuring the following divisions: Open/All (with male/female and age categories), Telemark, Snowboard (male/female), and the infamous Fat and Baggy (male/female).

The new event structure will also feature a field of up to fifteen teams of (5) racers consisting of: (1) Pro, (1) Woman, (1) Master, (1) Junior, and (1) Open spot. Teams will be pledged or sponsored by a Team Champion for $10,000 and all proceeds will support the Club’s 500 student-athletes. Teams will compete on Sunday for both team and individual honors, along with local and regional junior athletes in a separate junior competition.

Correction: The original post incorrectly stated that the move to Teton Village is permanent. It has been updated. 

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