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Thread: Bad NASTAR Resorts

  1. #1
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    Bad NASTAR Resorts

    I would like to start a thread about bad NASTAR resorts.

    This is not to name individual resorts, but to help us all develop a basic standard for all resort NASTAR operations. It would help both resorts and NASTAR administrators do their best (assuming, of course, that they want to).

    This is an issue that has drawn complaints on several forums, but there has never been an overall discussion of minimum NASTAR performance standards from the racer's point of view.

    To put it in business terms: the program has now grown so much, that those who pay to use the NASTAR product, deserve certain minimums in customer service.

    A few suggestions to start:

    PACESETTERS: These should be fast skiers with some race background. A slow pacesetter with a handicap over 22 unfairly skews the results for racers. If a volunteer pacesetter's handicap is so high that it makes the day's par time unrealistic---that's almost like cheating the racer/customer, who will of course not win the correct medal or get an accurate handicap.
    If a racers at a particular resort are showing ten or more points higher than their customary handicap, that is something NASTAR HQ should be notified of and look into.

    COURSE SET AND CONDITIONS: There has already been a discussion of "trick" gates---a gate so offset that it forces the racer to dump speed and change rhythm to make it---again, causing a skewed result.
    Every race course set, even NASTAR, should have a rhythm. To set a gate out of that rhythm on a NASTAR course is questionable in the first place.
    To do it on a gate just before the finish enters the realm of bogus.
    But, if a "trick" gate IS set on a course, the effects on the course must be removed throughout the day so that dangerous chatter and ruts do not build up.
    In fact, I would suggest that a basic minimum standard should be required observation by the day's NASTAR crew; and if more than five racers fall at one spot on the course, that gate be reset and the course repaced.

    If ruts develop in different lines on a gate, it can cause skis to pre-release---that's downright dangerous.
    It is a basic minimum of any kind of racing that the course be slipped and maintained, because fairness dictates that the course be the same for the first racer as the last racer.
    While that is seldom possible, "slippers" are a part of any race.
    NASTAR should be no exception. A course that has 30, 40 or more starts, will deteriorate.

    It should be a basic minimum standard that the course be slipped throughout the day. If necessary, the whole operation should be shut down while the crew slips and rakes out the ruts.
    Some resorts use only three people to run NASTAR; a money collector, a starter and someone at the finish. This is not enough staff to run a good race. It means everything must be shut down, keeping racers waiting, if a gate needs replacing or someone needs help on course. There should be at least four people running daily NASTAR; which also allows potty breaks for the crew. A minimum standard of four people should be required, even if the fourth one only works on and off throughout the day.
    Resorts that show indifference to their standard of NASTAR operation should be reported to Bill Madsen at HQ. There is a link to contact him on the left side of the NASTAR home page.

    Other suggestions?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    Great post. Every point made perfect sense. Good input, I hope it can be put to good use.
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  3. #3
    You may find this hard to believe, but Park City has risen to the top of BAD NASTAR resorts.

    - The Nastar hill - Blanche is OK for NASTAR and provides an appropriate NASTAR challenge, although most gold and above racers would prefer a longer and steeper course. This is not a problem.

    - NASTAR is available everyday from 10-3. This is great, and is not the problem.

    - The attitude of Management toward NASTAR is the problem, because they have allowed the pacesetting to get to the point that D-money and Schloppy could not get a single digit handicap.

    Note the following:

    Park City Mountain Resort, Utah - Jan 10th, 2006 - Daily Nastar
    Weather: Sunny and Clear

    Code:
       Pacesetters:  
    
    
    
     Course      Pacesetter     Handicap     Time     Par Time 
    
     Yellow      Mike Kisow        24         15.70     12.66 
    
     Green       Mike Kisow        24         16.22     13.08
    The CAP TIME for this course is 14 seconds and change!!!!

    For those who do not know, let me explain a CAP TIME. Get in the start, go as fast and straight as you can, in a tuck, right down the middle of the gates, NO TURNS, and that would be the CAP TIME.

    The problems are many. Here is a list:

    1) There are folks who have NO race background, setting courses.
    2) Pacesetters who have NO comprehension of a CAP time.
    3) Management that allows ego to exclude qualified pacesetters from doing the pacesetting.

    It is a shame to see such a great NASTAR program go to shambles over a management ego fight, and severe indifference to the NASTAR community.

    Bogie

  4. #4
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    CAP Time.... hmmmm.
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  5. #5
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    Just for fun, is Cap time done on the fastest snow conditions? A fairly flat hill covered in hardpack is going to run differently than the same fairly flat hill in slush or sugar.

    I think the Cap time for my hill is about 18 seconds (on hard snow) and there Nastar usually run a par time around 23-25 I think...
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  6. #6
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    I'd love to see Copper and Vail slip/rake their courses on busy days.

    I'm certain I've be able to put up much better numbers against the pacesetters if I were able to ski the course in conditions similar to what they get to set it at.

    Failing that, I'm just happy to be getting time in the gates. I like all the suggestions, but at present I can't imagine any of the resorts having the resources to implement any of them except maybe raking/slipping the courses occasionally. Getting low handicap pacesetters may be difficult for some resorts. How would they be able to solve it? Don't they have to use the best of whoever applies for the positions?

  7. #7
    Senior Member IN.racer's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Colorado_Wolfman
    Getting low handicap pacesetters may be difficult for some resorts.  How would they be able to solve it?  Don't they have to use the best of whoever applies for the positions?
    Technically, it shouldn't matter what handicap the pacesetter is. For example, pacesetter "A" is a 10, and pacesetter "B" is a 20. "A" will run faster than "B" and 10% will be removed for the par time. "B" will run slower and 20% will be removed for the par time. Theoretically, the par time should be the same shouldn't it?
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by IN.racer+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(IN.racer)</div>
    <!--QuoteBegin-Colorado_Wolfman
    Getting low handicap pacesetters may be difficult for some resorts.  How would they be able to solve it?  Don't they have to use the best of whoever applies for the positions?
    Technically, it shouldn't matter what handicap the pacesetter is. For example, pacesetter "A" is a 10, and pacesetter "B" is a 20. "A" will run faster than "B" and 10% will be removed for the par time. "B" will run slower and 20% will be removed for the par time. Theoretically, the par time should be the same shouldn't it?[/b]
    Should be, but generally someone who runs a higher handicap (less experenced) will loose or gain up to a second or 2 on each run, depending on how they run the course. 2 seconds would be like 10 handycap points, which is a big difference. If you run a whole night withen 1/2 a second, then the handicap spread will be about 3 points....

    Doesn't mean all the time, but I would assume thats what happens more often than not.
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  9. #9
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    HQ, please check this out

    Transferred from the NASTAR RULES thread...

    http://www.nastar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=7411#7411
    Stupidity should be painful!

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  10. #10
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    All good points
    We run our Course W/ 1 attendant at the top and lose money on a daily basis
    We have ski instructors slip out courses
    I have no return employees and have to train and retrain every year
    Went from a staff of 16 who were racers to a staff of 5
    All I have for staff is snowboarders who have never run gates in their life
    I guess $8/hour isn't enough
    Very little community support in this area, mostly jib parks and extremes
    All the locals want to do is run the course for free
    As far as pacesetting I agree
    I run my hill at a 10 but at trials w/ little or no practice in gates on a hill I am not used to I get a 17 at best.
    I have spent so much time this year trying to bring our nastar standards up I am neglecting my other responsabilities w/ club training, tubing and special events.
    Like I said you have alot of good points but I just want to give you the managment side of it

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