You Mean It's All About Money?

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In May, ESPN announced that the 2000 Winter X Games will be moving from Crested Butte, Colorado, to Mount Snow, Vermont. Though Crested Butte -- with nearly twice the size and annual snowfall of Mount Snow -- is decidedly the heavier hitter, there's one thing it doesn't have: New York City, population 7,380,906. More crowds mean more exposure, and to ESPN and its advertisers, that means more dollars.

But what about all those Butte-dwelling athletes who used to just roll out of bed, snag a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, and stumble onto the course? Actually, they're pretty upbeat. "Anyone who thinks this is a drag," says Alison Gannett, X Games skier and Butte local, "doesn't know how hardcore East Coasters are."