Coronet’s high holidays hopes


Coronet Peak’s boss is “pretty confident” it’ll be open for school holidays, starting this Saturday.

Ross Copland says snow-making at the skifield resumed on Monday night after two days of warm temperatures.

Provided temperatures remain as cold as forecast, the ski area’s snowmaking system would operate at full capacity, pumping 30 million litres of water a day through 217 snow guns.

Staff are being rostered on and off to share the work, but he can’t say how many hours a week they are working on average.

If Coronet Peak is unable to open by the weekend, Copland says sister skifield the Remarkables would cope really well with increased numbers.

Owner NZSki has flexibility to move resources between the two fields, such as ski instructors, rental equipment and passenger transport.

The reverse occurred two years ago when Coronet Peak was the only field in the region to open on schedule and The Remarkables didn’t open until early July.

The Remarkables boss Ross Lawrence says visitor numbers during the past week have reached or exceeded the field’s “considered capacity” of 3500, hitting 4000 on Monday.

That number could go higher when school holidays start, he says.

To cope with demand, he has about 150 staff from Coronet Peak and additional food and beverage outlets have been set up.

Treble Cone Ski Area, near Wanaka, due to open two weeks ago, remains closed because of a lack of snow. The Snow Farm on the Pisa Range has also postponed its opening day.

Cardrona Alpine Resort opened on June 11 and yesterday had a summit snow-depth of 45cm. 

Otago Daily Times