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Treble Cone had planned to open on June 27, but management delayed opening due to a lack of natural snow.
Yesterday was the first day of work for many of the seasonal staff, who had not budgeted for two weeks without pay.
Barista Casey Taracka (24), of the US, applied to work at TC after reading online it was one of the best New Zealand skifields.
She said she has spent the past fortnight ''hanging out and hiking'' and trying to save money until the season started.
John MacTaggart and his two daughters Laia (8) and Firn (7), of Hawea, were among the first skiers on the slopes.
''It had been a long wait but it is finally open. The snow is coming which is great, and there is more on the way which is fantastic,'' he said.
Snow began falling heavily late yesterday morning and MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said computer models indicated snow would fall at the skifield tomorrow, and possibly Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Treble Cone management had organised activities and barbecues for the staff, but general manager Toby Arnott said it was ''fantastic to be finally open and get everyone up here''.
Between 500 to 1000 people were expected over the course of the day, despite skiing and riding limited to the groomed runs, Easy Rider and the Platter area.