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SAM Magazine—Broomfield, Colo., Sept. 2, 2012—The introduction of Vail Resorts’ (VR) EpicMix Racing gives skiers a chance to see how they stack up against Lindsey Vonn, thanks to a new NASTAR-like addition to VR’s acclaimed EpicMix social media program. The incorporation of EpicMix Racing has led VR to drop the 44-year-old NASTAR program from its areas.

EpicMix Racing will launch at all VR areas except Kirkwood in mid-December, along with the rest of the EpicMix 3G program. The RFID chip in the EpicMix pass will automatically recognize racers at the start and record their times, and then compare them to Lindsey Vonn via a pacesetter system similar to NASTAR. Racers will earn gold, silver and bronze medals based on achievement. Race times, digital medals, and overall and friends-and-family leaderboards will all be available on both the EpicMix website and mobile app.

Vail Resorts has also created the Lindsey Vonn Race Series, in which all skiers and riders will be ranked based on their best 10 races. The top racers from across the six resorts will be invited to a grand finale event in April 2012, hosted by Vonn, on the Birds of Prey World Cup Course at Beaver Creek.

NASTAR founder John Fry called Vail’s decision to leave NASTAR “a disservice to its guests,” according to a report on the Skiing Heritage website. “In the past, Vail guests coming from the East, Midwest or Far West could enhance their NASTAR standings earned at their home ski area. That’ll no longer be possible.”

VR resorts have been big NASTAR players in the past. Vail was one of the first areas to host NASTAR, and it has remained a popular NASTAR site. In the gangbusters 2010-11 season, Vail ranked as the most popular NASTAR resort, tallying 29,310 runs. Beaver Creek was second, with 20,062 runs. Together, VR’s four Colorado areas accounted for more than 13 percent of all NASTAR runs in 2010-11.