Twenty-five years ago, the organizers of classic World Cup Downhill races Kitzbühel, Wengen, Garmisch, Val d’Isere and Val Gardena/Gröden founded Club 5. Yesterday (December 20th), the extended Club 5 family,which by now is counting 16 members, celebrated the anniversary in a rustic farmhouse in Val Gardena/Gröden.
Club 16 would be a more adequate name for Club 5, which in addition to its five founding members also counts Alta Badia, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Kranjska Gora, Schladming, Maribor, Lake Louise, Adelboden, Kvjetfjell, St. Moritz, Ĺre and Zagreb in its distinguished group of leading World Cup organizers. Yesterday, representatives of the existing 16 members were reminiscing the last 25 years in a recently renovated farm restaurant originally built in 1608. “Things were tight for all World Cup Organizers in 1988. Increasing costs were not covered by the expected income. That is when Club 5 – formally known as Big 5 – was brought to life. We were able to achieve a tenfold increase in the value of the races within a short period of time.” says Edmund Dellago, Club 5’s first General Manager. Club 5 members celebrated their success story along with FIS and members of the media and public institutions.
Club 5 President Srecko Medven, Club 5 founder Erich Demetz and FIS Vice President Janez Kocijancic all pressed the importance of further increasing the professional level of all ski World Cup events and to work more closely with the national ski federations, FIS and media rights agencies.