The winding 13km alpine road to the Remarkables skifield is
to be sealed - starting with the bottom 4km, which will be
ready for this ski season.
Snow enthusiasts already have a new chairlift to look forward
to for the field's June 21 opening and NZSki chief executive
Paul Anderson said the company's board had decided ''now is
the time to make the investment to improve access to the ski
The remainder of the road would be sealed ''over the next two
or three years'' but ultimately it would be the customers who
decided the timetable.
''Really, it will depend on how we go the next few years. Our
guests will tell us. If we've got a lot of people going up,
then we'll get that road sealed a lot quicker.''
Mr Anderson, who joined the company in the role last August,
said the sealing ''really cements the position of Coronet
Peak and the Remarkables as the two most convenient and
easiest-to-get-to ski areas from Queenstown''.
Work sealing the road will start by the end of this month and
will be done to the 4km mark, just past Windy Point, in time
for the 2014 season.
The work is part of a $45 million redevelopment of the ski
area, and the biggest since the skifield's inception in 1985.
Ready for this season will be the new six-seater, 1.2km
Curvey Basin chairlift, a 20% expansion of the learners'
area, 1.6km of new trails, double the number of snowguns to
100 and 150 extra car parks.
Mr Anderson expects the developments ''will attract far more
skiers and snowboarders to the mountain this season''.
Next summer, a new base building will be completed.
He said the base terminal foundation for the new chairlift
had been poured and contractors had started to make access
tracks to where the towers would be. By May 1, all heavy
machinery must be off site, as requested by the Department of
The road has proved challenging for drivers. Last ski season,
a 38-year-old Queenstown man plunged between 150m and 200m
off the Remarkables access road, receiving whiplash. Then a
family of four from Hong Kong escaped serious injury when
their van rolled 40m off the road.