After three decades in Vermont, the annual Burton U.S. Open will be held in Vail, Colorado, in 2013. Vermont is the birthplace of Burton, where founder Jake Burton began his massive company in his barn. The Green Mountain Sate is also the birthplace of the event, which first took place in 1982, making it the longest-running snowboard contest around today.
Hopes and visions of growing the event are what sparked this major change, according to sources, and Burton team riders expressed excitement over the possibility. “Burton has always been about progressing the sport and doing what’s best for snowboarders, and I truly believe that this move to Vail will make the Open even better for the riders and the thousands of fans who come out to watch,” said three-time Olympian Kelly Clark, who was in Vail last week with X-Games gold medalist Mark McMorris and key members of the snowboard industry to celebrate the news.
The 2013 Burton U.S. Open will take place Feb. 25 through March 3 in the area of Vail known as Golden Peak. To go along with the change of venue, slopestyle will play a larger part in the event, whereas the event had previously revolved around halfpipe. This theme coincides with the continuing progression of the sport in general, with slopestyle officially being added to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the FIS decision to have separate judges for the snowboarding and skiing events.
Although this is seemingly thrilling and positive news, big change is always a bit frightening. It’s almost like saying the U.S. Open of Surfing, which is ongoing right now, is moving from Huntington Beach, California, to Ireland. Well, it’s not entirely the same, but you get the point. It’s simply going to take some readjusting and accepting.
Despite the jitters, the community of Vail appears up for the task. “When Burton decided to move the U.S. Open out west after 30 successful years back east, we were delighted that they chose Vail for such an important event,” said Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts’ mountain division. “We look forward to hosting the world’s best snowboarders at Vail. We believe it’s a perfect marriage of two great brands in the winter sports industry, and we’ll do our utmost to make this a tremendously successful endeavor.”
Here’s to hoping that this transformation will be in the best way possible.
Photo: Jack Affleck