Transmissions From The 31st Burton US Open: Anticipation At 8,000 Feet

The Burton US Open at Vail, CO: Day 1

It’s a 2.5 hour bus ride from Denver International to Vail, CO. Up front, grey-haired Texans talk about the different places they’ve skied from Mammoth to St Moritz to Morocco. I catch up on sleep in the back, occasionally opening one eye to see increasingly snow-covered surroundings. Apparently I-70 over Vail Pass is something of an engineering marvel, largely due to the construction of wildlife underpasses and overpasses that maintain natural migratory routes.

Arriving in Vail, the first thing I see is another engineering marvel: three monolithic booters hang over the Golden Peak base area, which will serve as the nexus of the Burton US Open. Next to the slope course is the largest halfpipe in Colorado. It is an impressive enough sight to get a rise out of the Texans—they shift their conversation from $20 glasses of wine to plans to watch the “extreme boarders.”

I check into the Tivoli Lodge, an updated old building with some character, the venue visible from the wrap around windows in my room. Tea and cookies await in an empty lobby bar, as does an outdoor hot tub. It seems the kind of place Hunter S. Thompson, were he still alive, might find himself feeling a little out of place and watching the event on TV, spinning tales of grandeur over a bottle of Wild Turkey. He did, after all, live in nearby Pitkin County and even ran for Sheriff there in 1970. But Thompson didn’t snowboard—I, on the other hand, do. So I decide to take a walk and get a feel for this new home of the longest running event in snowboard history.

Vail is quiet—a few folks bump around streets lined with high end boutiques while scaffolding goes up in every square. The village skating rinks are deserted. I stop at a pizza joint and they hook up the local discount. Clearly, I’m not your typical visitor and the long-haired kid behind the counter tuned into that right away. While waiting for my slices, the cover of the local paper is claiming the contest will bring $18 million to the area. People seem excited, yet a little pensive. Tomorrow, we get the ball rolling with slopestyle semis, then Thursday, pipe semis, followed by the respective finals on Friday and Saturday. Free shows from Santigold and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are in the works, as are a number of smaller events throughout town. There is a lot at stake for the top contest riders in the world entering the last major event of the TTR World Tour—the true pinnacle of competitive snowboarding run by snowboarders, for snowboarders. This is the calm before the storm.

Fair weather is in the forecast here at 8,000-plus feet of elevation. With a solid base of fresh snow over the past week the course should ride well. Check back daily for updates, imagery and more as the 31st Burton US Open unfolds in Vail, CO.

Burton is rolling out five hours of live programming on Universal Sports and NBC Sports Network, plus an additional 22 hours of original live coverage on Burton.com/USO so viewers around the world can watch the most anticipated snowboarding event of the season. Burton.com programming includes “The Board Room,” a new online talk show about snowboarding. If you can’t make it to Vail, below is a complete broadcast schedule by date, time and network. Times and events listed are Mountain Time (MT) and are subject to change, so please consult your local listings.

Where to Watch the 2013 Burton US Open

Date/Time Network Event

Wednesday, February 27: Burton.com/USO Men’s & Women’s Slopestyle Semis

8:45am – 3:15pm

Thursday, February 28: Burton.com/USO Men’s & Women’s Halfpipe Semis

8:45am – 3:15pm

Friday, March 1:

9:35am – 2:45pm Burton.com/USO Men’s & Women’s Slopestyle Finals

10:30am – 12:00pm Universal Sports Network Men’s Slopestyle Finals

1:30pm – 2:30pm Universal Sports Network Women’s Slopestyle Finals

Saturday, March 2:

9:35am – 2:45pm Burton.com/USO Men’s & Women’s Halfpipe Finals

10:30am – 2:00pm NBCSN Men’s Halfpipe Finals

1:30 – 2:00pm Universal Sports Network Women’s Halfpipe Finals

Sunday, March 10:

8:30am – 9:00am Universal Sports Network US Open Slopestyle Highlight Show

1:30pm – 2:00pm Universal Sports Network US Open Halfpipe Highlight Show

Tuesday, March 5:

8:30pm – TBD Universal Sports Re-Air: US Open Qualifiers

Sunday, March 17:

3:00pm – 3:30pm Universal Sports Network US Open Lifestyle Show

For the entire broadcast schedule, including additional airings of the above programs, go to Burton.com/USO.


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