World Cup racing in the early 1980’s was not on today’s more regular schedule. Alpine racing came to the U.S. in the spring. Nick Badami set out to change that, convincing Serge Lang, the father of the White Circus, and the FIS the season should begin in November and, naturally, in Park City. It was Craig who persuaded his father and the FIS that the event should be bigger than just racing. It was to be a show with entertainment, bands, art shows, etc.
And so “America’s Opening” began. Yes, there were ski races, but the Opening was much bigger than racing. Stars like Barbara Mandrell and Fleetwood Mac
performed between the first and second runs in front of 12,000 to 15,000 people. Racers were paid in “Badami Bullion” — real gold. Nick Badami once told me that heating the outdoor stage for Fleetwood Mac was “the most expensive thing I ever did,” explaining that the band’s contract required the outdoor stage be 72 to 75 degrees. “It wasn’t the band which was expensive, it was the heating bill," he recalled, laughing.