The end of the 2016/2017 season could not have been better: lots of sun, blue-bird skies and Åre 2019 forging ahead. After an inspirational workshop with the FIS technical experts and representatives from St Moritz 2017, the host of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2017, Åre 2019 will now enter the next phase of planning for 2019.

At the end of April, the Åre 2019 team and representatives from both the International Ski Federation (FIS) and this season’s host of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St Moritz, Switzerland, met in Åre for a three-day workshop. Nearly 80 people gathered in the new Arena House to exchange knowledge and experiences. The representatives from St Moritz presented their key success factors and shared various tips to assist the work of Åre 2019 staff.

As a token of gratitude for sharing their lessons learned and as a thank-you for a well-organized event, Åre 2019 CEO Niklas Carlsson concluded the initial session by handing over a FIS flag, signed by the Åre 2019 crew, to the president of the St Moritz organizing committee, Hugo Wetzel.

– It’s great to have a recap and to receive a confirmation that we’re on the right track. It’s also rewarding to talk with the FIS experts who have substantial long-term experience, said Åre 2019 CEO Niklas Carlsson after the three-day meeting.

During the 4th edition of the biannual FIS Coordination Group meeting, Åre 2019 presented its own status update on the work towards the 2019 event. With 650 days remaining, the pieces are now coming together and the feeling after the presentation to the FIS representatives was that the organization is heading in the right direction.

In addition to the status presentation, an extensive course inspection of the 2019 racing slopes took place under the best possible conditions. The cold nights had preserved the snow well and the oft-variable April weather was in its best behavior as Sports Manager Anders Sundqvist and Assistant Sports Manager Hans Olsson led the inspection. The FIS verdict?

– The World Championship Arena built for 2007 and all the investments made since then have kept the infrastructure in a good condition, which is great news. We don’t need to make any major adjustments, said Hans Olsson.

While it was clear that the organization is on track, it is also obvious that Åre 2019 have large shoes to fill after the success of St Moritz 2017 and still much to be done before February 2019. The next step for the Åre 2019 team entails more detailed planning by the fall and for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals that will take place in Åre in March 2018.

Niklas Carlsson is pleased with the current state of the organization but also notes the importance of the upcoming work.

– We now need to take all the creative ideas we have and see how they can be implemented and at what cost.