This is the third time the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado has welcomed the Championships (photo: Jessica Ringel, Maison Pomme Photography)
USA - Vail Beaver Creek in Colorado recently hosted this year's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2015, with athletes representing 68 nations participating in this grand event, which was viewed by an estimated television audience of 1 billion. This is the third time the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado has welcomed the Championships, which are spread over 13 days and two weekends of events and races.

A full programme of events was preceded by a magnificent opening ceremony. Theatrical Media Services Inc. (TMS) provided a full service package consisting of lighting, truss structures, staging and LED video floor. Selected for this ceremony were 37 Q-7 flood/blind/strobes and 16 P-5 wash lights, each chosen for their applicability in the lighting design.

Lighting designer and operator from TMS, Aaron Stinebrink, explains, "The idea for the opening ceremony was to make a very inviting space for the audience that also showcased [Solaris] Plaza and Vail." The key factor for Stinebrink was to deploy luminaires with an IP rating of 65, as they were to be placed outside in the elements, exposed to snow and sometimes rain - but also the operating temperature was essential. "With being in the mountains, we also had to apply units of a low operating temperature. At that point we really narrowed down the field of available LED fixtures, and the Q-7 and P-5 checked all the boxes."

TMS customised truss and bases for the Plaza, allowing for additional lighting positions to be installed on the second floor. "The wide beam angle of the Q-7 allowed for an excellent coverage of the shops behind, which created a lovely background in the Plaza," says Stinebrink.

The P-5s, fulfilling the same weather requirements as the Q-7s, were installed on top of the Plaza's second floor pergola, from where truss was extended 15 feet into space for proper TV angle, while at the same the structure offered the challenge of being 40 feet in the air without any easy access. "We decided to deploy the P-5s in this location as TV lighting and as general stage wash. With the fixtures' IP rating, it allowed us to put them to use in this hard-to-reach area without the concern of having to change lamps as you would on a conventional fixture," the lighting designer explains.

In addition to the opening ceremony, 10 Q-7s formed part of the concert stage equipment, while the 16 P-5s were also utilised for the award ceremonies.

"The P-5 provides a beautiful even field for lighting video. By having RGBW available in the fixture, I was able to colour mix to the proper colour temperature that the camera required. The TV crew was very happy with that and the coverage supplied," Stinebrink comments. "The Q-7's output and beam angle made this fixture ideal for lighting the Plaza's shops. It is a great fixture with a lot of punch. We also included an additional 10 Q-7s as strobe lights for a mobile stage for nightly concerts. The fixture has a high impact and is great as a strobe fixture."

TMS's role in the Alpine World Ski Championships 2015 has marked the culmination of a successful journey, and they can now relish the positive feedback in the aftermath of their efforts. Stinebrink extends his thanks to lighting crew chief Scott Wasson, account manager Paul Hendrickson and the entire TMS staff who made this project possible, in spite of the number of logistical challenges they were met with.

(Jim Evans)

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