A couple of my beer league race team teammates are competing at the NASTAR National Championships yesterday and today. Was checking up on their first day results and was a bit surprised to see how few people were competing in their respective age groups. So, took a look online at the official registrations and, according to NASTAR's site, barring a huge number of 'day of' registrations, the numbers are waaaay down from the number of racers that attended three years when I competed in 2012 - @1100 racers then to @690 racers today.
First thought was to blame the economy - money is tight, trip is expensive, etc., etc. Suppose that's still a good possibility, but, from what I've heard anecdotally, skier visits to most resorts are not way down this year, certainly not at the post-2008/9 season levels. Perhaps there is a perception that Snowmass is too expensive, so people don't want to go there (have to admit that was my first reaction when I heard that the event was moving to Snowmass). But also wondering if Vail's decision to drop NASTAR and take their racing in house has contributed to a number of skiers and a few other resorts, such as Copper, deciding to also drop out of the NASTAR fold. Certainly Vail's decision alone wouldn't be the reason for a 30% drop in the number of attendee's. Just seems a bit surprising to me that, at a time when the US ski team is enjoying such success, that NASTAR's numbers would be going in the opposite direction.