from Heading into its fourth year, the Open is regarded as the best and most anticipated event in the freeskiing world. Includes competition in skiing, for both men and women, as well as music, product demos and sampling. The Open also boasts THE largest prize purse of any freeskiing competition in the WORLD. Over $40,000 cash. The three day, weekend-long schedule includes the world's top pros and over 300 competitors expected so compete at Vail Resort's Gold Peak (at base of mountain.) Date: January 24-27, 2002 The best thing about the Open is that is discovers the next big stars. Philou Poirier came out of nowhere to win the 1999 Big Air and in 2000, Andy Woods from Sugarbush, Vermont, did the same by sticking 5-straight 1260's to edge out (then unknown) Jon Olsson, Phillippe Belanger and Moseley. Mathieu Paquette and David Crichton both did extremely well in last year's slopesytle, which helped elevate them to a new level. Registration is open on . Only the first 100 people to enter in Slopestyle or Skiercross will be able to compete so sign up now. Big Air and Halfpipe will be qualified out of the Slopestyle competition and a halfpipe Jam on Friday. The top 10 skiers from slopestyle (competition on Friday) will qualify to compete in Big Air vs. 15 skiers that will be pre-qualified based on results from previous comps. Halfpipe will also have a pre-qualified list of 15 skiers and 5 skiers will qualify out of the Kahlua Halfpipe Jam comp on Friday afternoon. Check out the "Schedule" section of this website for full details. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rooms are available at the Chateau at Vail: Vail's best combination of price and location. The Chateau is conveniently located at the entrance to Vail, adjacent to the main roundabout on the free in-town shuttle route, between Vail Village and Lionshead. Special USFSO Rates: $99/room/night, minimum 3-night stay. Or $130/room/night, no minimum. Rates are valid 1/21-31/02. Ask for the US Freeskiing Open rate when booking. Based on up to two people sharing a standard hotel room. Call by December 28, 2001. 970-476-5631 source: