Skifield opens with great expectations for big snow

Lake Ohau Lodge and Ohau Snow Fields staff are looking forward to welcoming the first skiers and...
Lake Ohau Lodge and Ohau Snow Fields staff are looking forward to welcoming the first skiers and boarders of the season today. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Lake Ohau Lodge and Ohau Snow Fields are ready to welcome the first skiers and boarders of the season.

The skifield, which overlooks Lake Ohau, opens today and co-owner Mike Neilson said there was a "great base" of snow — with more expected over the weekend.

Mr Neilson encouraged skiers and snowboarders to keep a close eye on the weather forecast and snow reports throughout the season, which is expected to run until October 9.

"We’re expecting a pretty strong snow year," he said.

A steady number of season passes had been snapped up, and bookings at the lodge were "way up" on previous years, Mr Neilson said.

The skifield’s core business had always come from New Zealanders. A good number of bookings for this season were made by North Islanders.

This year, the skifield is also welcoming international ski teams back to Ohau for the first time since 2019. Teams from the United States and Norway were booked in to train at the Waitaki skifield.

"We’re in for a very strong year in terms of demand."

Mr Neilson and his wife, Louise, employ about 60 people for the ski season across the lodge and the skifield each year.

Inductions and training started earlier this week, but Mr and Mrs Neilson were still searching for people to fill some positions, advertising for waiting staff at the lodge, and a cafe manager, cafe assistant, ticket sales assistant, bus driver and maintenance staff at the skifield.

More information on the positions is available on the Lake Ohau Lodge and Ohau Snow Fields website.

rebecca.ryan@odt.co.nz

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