Big num­bers for Qtown slopes

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - DASHA KUPRIENKO

Queen­stown ski­field ex­pan­sion is likely if growth con­tin­ues to defy patchy win­ter weather.

NZSki chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul An­der­son said de­spite one of the warm­est win­ters on record, there was a 15 per cent rise in vis­i­tors this sea­son across Coronet Peak, Mt Hutt and The Re­mark­ables, in­clud­ing more than 600,000 first­time cus­tomers.

Cheaper sea­son passes, down to $599 for all three fields, helped at­tract new cus­tomers, he said. Prices would re­main the same next sea­son.

The com­pany was es­pe­cially happy with the growth in Queen­stown, where ex­pan­sion was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

The pos­si­ble long-term ex­pan­sion would be at the back of The Re­mark­ables, which was used for back coun­try ski­ing and ski tour­ing.

‘‘We’ve started look­ing at Doolans this year,’’ An­der­son said.

Doolans, a basin east of the ski­field, was less ex­posed to the sun light and held the snow bet­ter, he said.

Forty per cent of Re­mark­ables vis­i­tors were Aus­tralian and half were Ki­wis.

Coronet Peak was the favourite among lo­cals this year, with two thirds of cus­tomers from the Otago re­gion.

Among the im­me­di­ate up­grades is a new pa­trol build­ing at The Re­mark­ables to be ready for the 2017 ski sea­son.

NZSki chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul An­der­son is happy with the growth in Queen­stown.

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