Irish snowboarder Seamus O'Connor (13) wins the open men's
snowboard event at the Electric Quarter Pipe Battle at the
Snow Park last year.
The owners of the Snow Park on the Pisa Range are looking
for a new skifield business partner; preferably one with $50
million to spend.
Lee family representative Sam Lee yesterday told the Otago
Daily Times the present lessee, Robin Sadowski-Synnott,
had not expressed an interest in continuing when her
three-year lease expired at the end of March.
Mr Lee said he was now looking for expressions of interest
not only from those interested in running the Snow Park, but
also from investors interested in "going forward" with major
developments beyond the park.
The two developments he is keen to see proceed are a $20
million, eight-person gondola from the Cardrona Valley floor
to the top of the mountain, and a $30 million extension of
the Snow Park into the Roaring Meg Valley, with five new
Mr Lee said his father, John Lee, had received one expression
of interest but other potential investors were being sought.
"There's a lot of international interest in investing in New
Zealand at the moment. People are looking for new places to
put their money. Traditional places haven't been that
The Queenstown Lakes District Council gave the family
approval in 2008 for a $14 million gondola, and Mr Lee said
that consent had another five years to run. He believed there
were also few regulatory obstacles to expanding the skifield
area across freehold land where chairlifts were a permitted
Mr Lee said future management options for the Snow Park were
"wide open" at this stage.
Either he or a new lessee would operate the Snow Park in a
similar way to previous years "but with a few tweaks", or a
major party would push ahead with the development.
"The first preference is to find someone to come in and
invest the money to take my father's dream forward."
Mr Lee said 1000 cars a day passed through the Cardrona
Valley and if just a small portion went up in the gondola
"for a look", that would make it viable.
A gondola could carry 1000 passengers an hour, the trip
taking just over 12 minutes.
Mr Lee believed growing interest in mountain biking would
underpin the gondola's viability through the summer months,
making the Snow Park a "four-season resort".