Final tests for chairlift

Final load tests are expected to be carried out on Thursday before the Remarkables ski area's new chairlift is handed over to NZSki on Friday.

The new Curvey Basin chairlift is part of the skifield's multimillion-dollar development and recent snow has not affected the chairlift's progress.

Ski area manager Ross Lawrence said the weather had been only a ''minor obstacle'' for the United States-based Leitner Poma team installing the lift.

''The guys install new lifts all around the world and, like our team, are used to working in snowy conditions, so as far as we're concerned it's business as usual,'' Mr Lawrence said.

Considering half a metre of snow fell on the skifield in May, he was ''thrilled to be on track and making great progress''.

The 1.2km chairlift has 95cu m of concrete beneath each tower and a 19-tonne cable which will carry the 63 six-seater chairs.

Sealing of the lower 4km of the access road - another new development for the Remarkables ski area this year - is also nearing completion.

NZSki plans to seal the entire road in the coming years.

Work has also begun on a new base building, which is scheduled to open for the 2015 season.

The Remarkables ski area is scheduled to open on June 21.

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