It’s the first main event since Swiss Wrestling in the ’90s. Preparation time was short.
Shore has rarely witnessed such a major event. More than 35,000 visitors are expected on Friday and Saturday at the Big Air – a mix of snowboarding competitions, freestyle skiing and a music festival on the outskirts of town.
Over two days, 160 athletes from around the world show off their daring jumps, collect World Cup points, fight for Olympic qualification at the Freeski Big Air, and there are hip-hop concerts and parties.
Rapper “Jimma” as the starter
Gian Marco Schmid, better known by the nickname Gemma, recalls how, at the beginning of 2021, he read the Chur City Cultural Strategy. “That’s how I came across town in search of international events.”
At the beginning of the year I read in Shore’s Cultural Strategy that the city was looking for major international events.
Initially, the idea was to organize an outdoor musical event. Everything got bigger and bigger, at some point the FIS came and with it came the important sporting part, says Schmid.
The Big Air organization is now in the hands of the events company that also operates Openair Frauenfeld. In June, the Parliament of Chur spontaneously announced its support with 600,000 Swiss francs.
1000 tons of industrial ice
The snowboarding jump was prepared using more than 1,000 tons of artificial snow. Chur is suddenly hosting a big event – like last time in the ’90s at the Swiss Wrestling Festival.
“So far, we and our hotels have been event partners in well-known tourist destinations in the area,” says Leonie Leech, Chur’s Head of Tourism. Now about 1,000 hotel beds in the city and many hotels in the area are occupied by the Shore event.
Big Air brings young people to Chur who never knew the city before.
The city sees Big Air Creek as an opportunity to address a new target group. The intent of the organizers as well as the city is clear: Big Air Chur should not remain a one-day flyer. The city wants to approve the contribution of support for the future large atmosphere in a referendum. Graubünden will pay a share this year as well. According to the organizers, the total budget is six million francs.
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