Ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on location at Beaver Creek ski area Dec. 5 before a men’s World Cup alpine ski race might seem like a good idea for the Colorado-based corporate executives who will do the ringing, but that depends on how the market fares.
Jokes like “it’s all downhill from here,” and cracks about bear markets and frozen credit will no doubt resonate as loudly as the antique cowbell a bevy of top Colorado executives will ring at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain during a live broadcast back to New York and on financial cable television channels.
And it’s doubtful hard-partying millionaire ski racer Bode Miller will be up at that hour (7:30 a.m., Mountain time) to ring in the festivities, but there is a chance he might still be headed back to his personal RV after a night on the town. No telling what the loud ringing to launch the financial markets will do for his race-day psyche or his considerable bank account.
The death-defying downhill race, which Miller has won in the past, gets going later that morning (11 a.m.) as part of the Birds of Prey Audi World Cup Dec. 4-7, and Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz — one of the ringers — is hoping the exposure reminds stressed-out Wall Streeters of the need to come recreate in Colorado this season. A former Wall Street private equity firm executive himself, Katz chucked it all and moved to Boulder before taking over the helm of Vail Resorts.
Other Colorado captains of industry will also be on hand with smaller cowbells, according to the Vail Daily, including “Steve Ells of Chipotle Mexican Grill, H. Craig Clark of Forest Oil, Jerre Stead of IHS, Robert Jornayvaz III of Intrepid Potash, Peter Swinburn of Molson Coors, Richard O’Brien of Newmont Mining, Ed Mueller of Qwest, Thomas Toomey of UDR, and James Volker of Whiting Petroleum.”