NZSki improvements to The Remarkables this summer. Click to
Queenstown's skifield operator is increasing its cheapest
season pass by $100 - ahead of one of its biggest investments
NZSki will bump up The Remarkables' discounted early-bird
season pass price from $499 to $599 for the 2014 ski season.
Meanwhile, its Queenstown pass - which covers both local snow
fields The Remarkables and Coronet Peak - will remain frozen
at $889 as it has done for the past two seasons.
The skifield operator is planning to plough tens of millions
of dollars into The Remarkables skifield during the next two
summers - firstly opening up new terrain then revamping the
NZSki's sales and marketing boss Craig Douglas says the
increase to The Remarkables-only pass reflects the
development plans but won't cover the costs: "It's a sizeable
investment - we're not going to pay for it on season passes.
"It's the price-sensitive end of the market we're moving, but
that's where the work's being done. We fully expect to be
delivering a bigger and better product.
"The Coronet Peak price is where it is for three years now -
you could argue we should be putting it up.
"The cost of running the business has been going up every
year - insurance, fuel, electricity, staff wage rates.
There's nothing we get now for cheaper than what it was
costing us three years ago.
"So we're just having to make efficiencies elsewhere."
Work will begin installing the new 1.2km Curvey Basin
chairlift as soon as the snow melts this year, along with
snowmaking and carpark improvements.
Next summer a new base building is planned.
NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson says: "It's tens of
millions - a lot of money and a significant investment for
"Lift, snowmaking, carpark, earthworks then base building -
it's a significant project we're getting underway. It's
probably going to be our biggest investment ever.
"With the new lift going in, it's going to have terrain that
The six-seater lift will run from the skifield's car park to
1900m, above Lake Alta and just below the ridge. It will be
in place for the opening of next season all going to plan.
It'll increase the mountain's capacity by 40 per cent - from
2500 to 3500 skiers a day - adding 13 per cent more trail
area and major off-piste skiing opportunities in the basin.
Anderson says: "It'll be awesome. I skied the fall line of
where it will be and it's beautiful rolling intermediate
train all the way down.
"The trail will curve to flatten that out for novices - a
1.6km novice trail all the way to the base building."
A total of 28 snowguns will be installed along the trail,
with associated pipes and infrastructure works to ensure the
ski field has enough electricity to power the guns.
The work is also expected to improve touring and trekking
over the saddle in the Wye Valley.
It's the largest investment since NZSki pumped $30 million in
for 141 extra snow guns and new base building up Coronet Peak
The ultimate NZSki pass, which includes Coronet, The
Remarkables and Mt Hutt in Canterbury, remains at $999 for
adults and $699 for youths or seniors.
A Coronet Peak night ski add-on, for Remarkables pass
holders, also stays the same at $99 as does the Coronet Peak
first-tracks add-on at $199 - that's not available to those
with The Remarkables-only pass.
The firm is also axing its Buddy Pass system, with Douglas
saying it was convoluted and confusing for everybody.
All early-bird passes went on sale online today at 10am until
March 20, with an eight-payment option available until the
end of October.
Discount ski pass prices for 2014
Remarkables pass (Remarks access only - up $100) $599 (adult)
Queenstown pass (Remarks and Coronet Peak - no change) $889
NZSki pass (Remarks, Coronet and Mt Hutt - no change) $999
- Paul Taylor, Mountain Scene