Across the ditch, the final touches are being put in place ahead of the opening of for New Zealand’s ski season.
An hour out of Queenstown, Cardrona Alpine Resort has installed a $10 million combined lift of gondola cabins and chairs. The new McDougall’s Express “Chondola” will replace the existing McDougall’s quad chairlift. The new gondolas hold eight people per cabin and the chairs hold six. This will see uphill capacity expand from 1,000 people per hour to 2,550 an hour.
At the Happy Valley Snow Park, operator Ruapehu Alpine Lifts has invested $11 million into a project that will see the addition of three new surface lifts. Two of these will feature covers to keep guests dry and sheltered while they move. The addition of these new lifts is expected to eliminate queues and aims to improve guest comfort and safety.
Meanwhile The Remarkables is getting ready to enclose its existing double conveyor lift on the learner’s slope with a Slinky-style transparent tube. The Gallery, as it is known, travelled from France and will be assembled in time for the opening to skiers in June. The Gallery allows guests to travel to the top of the slope while being sheltered from the weather, but without missing out on watching the learners sliding down the slope outside.
Most of New Zealand’s ski resorts will open by mid-June.