Old ski field, new plans

Central Otago Mirror - - WHAT’S ON -

DEB­BIE JAMIESON

Wanaka’s Tre­ble Cone ski­field is adopt­ing a new busi­ness strat­egy, in­clud­ing bring­ing in high­pro­file staff and reach­ing out to young skiers across the re­gion.

The lat­est sign­ing an­nounced by the busi­ness is two-time New Zealand freeride ath­lete of the year Sam Lee, who has shifted from his base at the nearby Cardrona ski field to be­come head freeride coach at Tre­ble Cone.

Lee, who is cur­rently over­seas, also coaches the New Zealand Freeride Team.

Along­side Lee will be Big Moun­tain skier Louis Char­naud and Tre­ble Cone’s head ski coach of 23 years Michael Shenkel.

Driv­ing the change is new ski area man­ager Toby Arnott.

Pre­vi­ously the gen­eral man­ager of snows­ports at NZSki, he was thrilled to be join­ing Tre­ble Cone in its 50th win­ter sea­son and to be work­ing with the Tre­ble Cone board to bring a fresh ap­proach to the busi­ness.

‘‘It’s a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion to my ca­reer and prob­a­bly comes with mixed emo­tions, hav­ing grown up in Queen­stown and skied here all my life, but I’m look­ing for­ward to a change of scenery.’’

The team was work­ing on a fresh busi­ness strat­egy, which was not as much con­cerned with ‘‘bums on seats’’ as of­fer­ing a pre­mium prod­uct, he said.

‘‘We’re aim­ing for re­ally high qual­ity food of­fer­ings, ex­pe­ri­enced, world-class in­struc­tors and short lift queues. At the mo­ment we’re try­ing to fig­ure out how we can de­liver on that.’’

They were also aim­ing to build world-lead­ing health and safety sys­tems.

‘‘We’re re­ally fo­cused on a clear strat­egy.’’ he said.

Tre­ble Cone is of­fer­ing dis­counted ‘‘lo­cal’’ sea­son passes to chil­dren en­rolled in all schools in the Queen­stown Lakes and Cen­tral Otago Dis­tricts.

It is sched­uled to open for the sea­son on June 28.

Queen­stown’s Remarkables ski­field is plan­ning to open on June 9, fol­lowed by Coronet and Cardrona on June 16.

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