U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced that Aspen Snowmass will host the 2020 and 2021 Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR National Championships. The Championships are scheduled for March 24-28, 2020, and 23-27, 2021.
The first NASTAR National Championship was held in the Spider Sabich race arena on Snowmass in the spring of 1998 and the event has expanded to include all age groups from U6 to 95+. More than 50,000 racers will compete at 100 resorts across the country to qualify for a spot at the National Championships. Recreational racers compete within their age and ability group to earn a National Championship title and place in the final, the Race of Champions. Each National Champion carries their handicap into the race to compete for the overall win.
“I’m excited to bring the NASTAR Nation back to Snowmass to show off to my hometown,” said Director of NASTAR, Bill Madsen. “All of the race venues are close together, the majority of the lodging is ski-in, ski-out, the newly completed base village has an ice rink and Snowmass is huge and has amazing terrain.”
Aspen Snowmass is a world-class ski destination containing four distinct mountains–Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass with a total of 5,524 acres of skiable terrain. Aspen Snowmass boasts a hospitality division that includes the five-star, five-diamond property, The Little Nell, and two contemporary Limelight Hotels in Aspen Snowmass, one based in the core of Aspen, and one at the base of Snowmass. The hospitality, coupled with the accessibility of the mountain, makes it a perfect location for this grassroots celebration of ski racing. Aspen Snowmass is accessible by one of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.
“Ski racing is a part of our DNA here in Aspen Snowmass and we are always thrilled to continue this heritage into the future. NASTAR celebrates a love of snowsports and true passion for the sport of ski racing and we are honored to play host to this and be a part of it,” says John Rigney, Senior Vice President, Aspen Snowmass.
NASTAR’s integration with the U.S. Ski Team gives participants the opportunity to meet and interact with their favorite racers. Ski racing runs deep in Aspen Snowmass’ history, and the FIS Ski World Cup races have remained a fundamental event throughout the years as the world’s best ski racers have descended upon Aspen Snowmass from all corners of the globe to compete at Aspen Mountain. From 1939 when the first sanctioned races took place at Aspen to years of hosting the Aspen Winternational and playing host to the 2017 World Cup finals, Aspen Snowmass has a strong heritage of supporting up-and-coming ski racing athletes and a long-standing tradition of being a hub for ski racing.
“This being my first time to NASTAR Nationals, I had no idea the level of enthusiasm, fun, and support that the racers had for ski racing,” reflected NASTAR National Pacesetter, U.S. Ski Team athlete, and Olympian Ryan Cochran-Siegle. “It was refreshing to see so many competitors and their families sharing a lifelong passion for the sport that I love. I had an all-around wonderful time during the race weekend in Squaw Valley, from sharing stories with the young up-and-comers, all the way up to bumping elbows with ski racing legends such as AJ Kitt, Tamara McKinney, Daron Rahlves, and Marco Sullivan. Having next year’s races in Aspen, another strong presence in ski racing culture, should make for a continuation of such a spectacular event!”
The NASTAR National Championships will come to Snowmass March 24-28, 2020. NASTAR participants qualify for the championships by winning medals on two or more race days within their age, gender and ability group by March 20th. For more information, visit https://www.nastar.com/faq.
Release courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.