Fresh staff, fresh snow and new trails ready for opening
Three hundred and twenty freshly inducted staff at Coronet Peak are pushing toward a spectacular opening of the first southern skifield to open for business on Saturday.
The staff were being inducted today, and come from all points of the globe, with 60 per cent of them Kiwis.
Another 200 staff will be inducted once the snow season hits full swing on June 16.
Ski area manager Ross Copeland said a whole summer’s worth of preparation, innovations and infrastructure upgrades had gone into making the coming opening and season a great experience for snow fans.
‘‘We’ve got four new kilometres of trail that will be open for night skiing, made some great progress with our terrain park, and got some great stuff for the children’s area, and I can genuinely say to staff we’re in great shape for a great season,’’ he said.
The terrain park was double the size of previous set-ups, and would be open on Friday and Saturday nights for ‘Park After Dark’ sessions. A 4-metre high airbag measuring 16m by 11m would ensure tricks could be practiced safely.
‘‘The airbag’s basically the size of a small building. We’ve also hired a dedicated entertainment co-ordinator who will be ensuring there’s great entertainment and music for our night skiers and boarders,’’ Copeland said.
Snow-making on the mountain has also undergone major changes, with a portable gun added and more ‘‘firepower’’ being brought down to the lower slopes. A renegotiated arrangement with NZSki’s power supplier also means there is 20 per cent more power available to the mountain.
‘‘It’s a huge difference, which means we can make snow solidly right through our cold periods.’’
Snow grooming will also have a big boost with two new groomers.
Ready: Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copeland on the the slopes.