Remarks bombshell: opening postponed


Queenstown skifield The Remarkables will not open on Saturday as planned as the new $23 million base building isn’t finished.

NZSki bosses made the call yesterday to delay the opening and informed staff.

The firm is unable to get its stylish new building signed off for a public safety certificate because “diabolical” weather has stopped workers fitting the final 12 windows.

The project has been dogged by difficult weather conditions throughout the build. 

Major shareholder Sir John Davies says with weather bombs expected today and Monday, he can’t confirm when the skifield will open.

“But I guarantee it won’t be more than a week late,” Davies says.

Remarks season pass holders will be able to use NZSki’s Coronet Peak instead until the skifield opens.

The huge windows weigh more than 100 kilos each and need to be fitted into the building at a height of about 10 metres.

“We thought 10 days ago we’d be home and hosed,” Davies says.

“But there’s been four days we haven’t been able to get a window in.” 

“They’re massive. If they take them up, they’ll get blown off and someone will be killed.”

Davies visited the site on Tuesday.

“It was like a blizzard up there, just diabolical. Christ, I nearly froze to death taking my jacket off and getting into the back seat of the car.”

Davies says the building is 99 per cent finished, although there’s fit-out work to do inside, including furniture and IT systems.

“But we can get on with that, it’s the windows that are stopping us getting it signed off.”

Contractors Arrow International have been working round-the-clock on the site for more than two weeks, with as many as 120 workers at any one time.

NZSki boss Paul Anderson says: “The contractors and ski area management have put in a massive effort to get this over the line.

“There’s about 40 workers who have 40-odd days without a break to get it done.

“We’re hugely appreciative of what they’ve done to try and get the time back we’ve lost to those weather days.”

Anderson says once the windows are in it’ll take a couple of days to clean up, commission systems and train staff.

Scaffolding both outside and inside will also need taking down.

Until three weeks ago, using the old building was an option but equipment and kitchens have now been moved across.

Anderson says: “We’re very close and really disappointed not to get there on time.

“But we want it finished to a high standard and to open the way we’re going to continue.

“We’re not going to compromise on health and safety or the quality of the building, because it’s going to be there for a long time.”

Davies says it’s been a two-year drive to the $23m building, part of a $45m improvement package which saw a new six-seater Curvey Basin chairlift commissioned for last season and new snow-making equipment.

He adds: “We’re bitterly disappointed not to finish on time.

“But I’ve had the belief The Remarkables will really go if we got it set up well.

“The board thinks it’s a fabulous building. We’re thrilled with it.”

The new carpark is two-thirds finished with 150 new parks at the 12-kilometre mark.


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Hey everyone here’s an update on our scheduled opening.

Posted by The Remarkables on Tuesday, June 16, 2015