Steamboat Springs Steamboat's eight-year run as host of Nordic Combined World Cup events appears to have come to an end.
The reason for the event's demise is simple money.
"We were told that the U.S. Ski Team doesn't have the money in the 2002-03 season to host a Nordic Combined World Cup," spokesman Rod Hanna said. "There will not be a Nordic Combined World Cup anywhere in the United States."
Hanna was on the original organizing committee that worked to bring a World Cup to Steamboat Springs in 1994. Since then, the event has had different chairpersons, but Hanna stepped back in this year when rumors started floating that the event would not happen because the U.S. Ski Team didn't have the funds to host a World Cup.
Hanna said the event has always been organized locally, but the U.S. Ski Team normally pays a site fee and some of the up-front costs of televising the event. This year, as in most post-Olympic years, that money isn't available.
Hanna said local organizers found out about the cutbacks about a week after the Olympics came to a close in Salt Lake City. He has been looking for alternatives to save the event but said it is difficult to come up with someone who is willing to supply the roughly $300,000 that will not come from the U.S. Ski Team this season.
"There is no way we can put on this event without the help of the U.S. Ski Team or some major title sponsor," Hanna said.
Hanna said he met with U.S. Ski Team President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Marolt recently to see if there was any way to save the Steamboat World Cup this year and to find out the possibility of the event returning to Steamboat in the future.
"He told me that Steamboat would be in the driver's seat if the United States decided to host a Nordic Combined World Cup again," Hanna said. "I've got to take the guy's word on that."
Rick DeVos, who co-chaired the event last year, is still holding out hope that Steamboat will be able to host an event next year.
However, he said if it didn't happen he would like to think that Steamboat would pursue other events.
"I've heard some talk of hosting a World Cup B event or maybe even a snowboarding event," DeVos said. "It's still too early to tell."
DeVos did say the cost of hosting those events would be far less than the Nordic Combined World Cup.