That’s because the Tough Mudder Competition, slated for May 7 and 8, is going to be big.
On Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, extreme sports enthusiasts will tackle the toughest elements and attempt to finish in “the toughest one-day event on the planet,” according to Tough Mudder founder Will Dean, a former British counterterrorism expert. Courses are designed by former British Special Forces officers and range from seven to 12 miles long. The Mount Snow Tough Mudder course is eight miles long. The course features military style obstacles from mud pits to water, fire, and snow features. Tough Mudder is not a race but more of a physical challenge for extreme sports enthusiasts.
According to Mount Snow events director Greg Fisher, Mount Snow expected 5,000 competitors on Saturday, May 7, and 2,000 competitors for Sunday, May 8. The slots filled up fast and Tough Mudder’s popularity went well beyond Mount Snow’s expectations. Tough Mudder organizers requested another 2,000 entries for Saturday and 2,500 for Sunday. Mount Snow agreed. On Wednesday, Fisher announced the Saturday event was completely sold out and there are only 500 spots left for Sunday’s event. “We just had another 2,000 new entries come in last week, so we now have 11,500 competitors taking part in this endurance event,” said Fisher.
Fisher credits Tough Mudder’s success to a variety of factors. “What’s working is the fact that the resort is busy. We have our guests coming up, they see the (Tough Mudder) posters and merchandise and they want to give it a try,” said Fisher.
Fisher added that the April 9 and April 10 Tough Mudder in Allentown, PA, sold out, and Tough Mudder organizers spent more time marketing the Mount Snow event. Mount Snow advertised locally and regionally, and used e-mail lists, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, and local radio. “(Radio host) Peter ‘Fish’ Case, of 92.7 FM WKVT, has helped. He’s writing about Tough Mudder on his blog and he will be a participant,” said Fisher.
Vinnie Lewis, Mount Snow events and public relations manager, said Tough Mudder has gone “above and beyond” in promoting their events. He said Tough Mudder organizers pay attention to what the competitors want and have a great sense of what participants like in extreme sports. “They let the competitors speak for themselves. Through their honesty and openness, they’ve gotten people to the Tough Mudder side.”
Lewis said the Deerfield Valley will not see the same number of spectators as the 2000 and 2001 X Games but expects that Tough Mudder participants and spectators will fill inns and lodges and have “an incredible economic impact. So far, I can tell you that Snow Lake has already sold out for that weekend, the Grand Summit is 80% full, and the Lodge at Mount Snow has sold out. So we’re already starting to fill up lodging,” said Lewis.
Mount Snow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Sibilia agrees with Lewis. Sibilia said bookings for inns and lodges are up and the projections for lodging are similar to peak foliage or holiday ski weekends. “We are getting Web inquiries and bookings at the chamber and these bookings are much farther in advance then is typical,” said Sibilia. “With this event, the growing Mothers for Daughters event, and others, we have a nice expansion of business going into the shoulder season.”
Upon learning that 11,500 people registered for Tough Mudder, Sibilia simply said it was “amazing.”
Mount Snow has a three-year commitment with Tough Mudder, through 2013. Next year, Tough Mudder will host events in Canada, Australia, Japan, England, and Scotland. A major component of Tough Mudder is its charitable donations. Proceeds of the event go toward the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that provides programs and services for severely injured service members. Funds raised from the Mount Snow event will also go toward the Wounded Warrior Project.
To register for the May 8 Tough Mudder event go to www.toughmudder.com.