The future of Cardrona Alpine Resort is uncertain after the
skifield business' Australian owners last week announced a
major strategic review.
The skifield, in the Cardrona Valley, is one of several
assets of Vealls Ltd, of Melbourne, which also include
pastoral and forestry properties in Australia and France.
The Veall family is the company's principal shareholder group
and has been since 1951 when it was listed on the ASX.
In a report to shareholders at the company's annual meeting
last Friday, 88-year-old executive chairman Ian Veall said
the 2012 season at Cardrona Alpine Resort had produced good
revenues which recovered from the previous year, when poor
early season snow conditions had a "marked negative effect".
However, ongoing volatile and uncertain financial conditions
were inhibiting the company's objective of reinvesting its
accumulating cash pile in Southeast Asia.
"Given this situation, the board considers the time has come
to commence a review of its corporate strategies that will
encompass all aspects of how they are operating," Mr Veall
"In short, a comprehensive review."
Despite a drop in revenue from the previous year, the company
made a profit of more than $A2 million ($NZ2.54 million) in
the year ended June 30, 2012. Total revenue was $A13.52
million, most of that derived from New Zealand operations,
the annual report said.
Snow Sports NZ chief executive Marty Toomey said he was not
concerned about the review's impact on the skifield,
particularly considering the skifield operation was still
making a profit.
"From my perspective it's just good business practice. Any
business goes through a review of where it's at annually," Mr
"I think it's entirely appropriate that the Veall family look
at what they do own.
"It doesn't concern me at all that that [review] would have
any negative effect on Cardrona ... and whether it's
available to host upcoming events in future years."
Wanaka Chamber of Commerce executive member Alistair King
said while it was difficult to comment on how the review
might affect the skifield's operations, Cardrona Alpine
Resort was a hugely important part of the Wanaka economy.
"Being a large employer, purchaser of goods and services and
an integral part of the skiing and tourism industries ... is
crucial to the greater Wanaka economy," Mr King said.
"Having the OnePass [new interchangeable ski pass] in place
for the season just gone has been a great step forward, and
we would look to seeing initiatives such as these continue to
Cardrona Alpine Resort has 345ha of terrain and a lift
carrying capacity of 11,000 people an hour. It hosts several
major national and international ski and snowboarding