Huge ski price hike

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The cost of earlybird season passes for Queenstown’s two skifields has been hiked by $100 this season. 

NZSki is bumping up its “Queenstown Pass” for Coronet Peak and The Remarkables from last year’s price of $699 to $799. 

That now makes it $500 dearer than when the pass was first introduced in 2001. Assuming a four-month snow season, it now works out at about $50 a week – though the latest hike was not unexpected. 

In last week’s Mountain Scene, NZSki boss James Coddington said the company had been hit with significant increases, including an 80 per cent rise in ACC employer levies and a higher minimum wage. 

At the same time, NZSki is still investing in its skifields, notably with a new $5 million-plus Meadows Express quad for Coronet. 

“We’ve worked very hard to maintain affordability yet deliver a world-class experience,” NZSki marketing boss David Ovendale says.
 
Four months of winter entertainment for $799 is still “extremely attractive”, he says. 

The pass is available for $799 until March 11 but people can again pay it off in three instalments. 

From March 12, it jumps another $200 to $999. Once Coronet opens on June 5, it climbs again to $1299.
 
Earlybird youth (7-17 years) and senior (65-74) season prices also jump $100 to $499.
 
A separate “NZSki Pass”, which includes the company’s Mt Hutt field in Canterbury, also rises $100 to $999.
 
A Remarkables-only pass, introduced just last season, rises $50 to $449.
 
This year the company has scrapped most student passes, retaining just one for The Remarkables with an earlybird rate of $349. 

A “Queenstown Transport” pass for bus travel to both fields, and Coronet’s First Tracks pass, each remain at $195.
 
Despite the hefty season pass hikes, a Coronet day pass only rises $2 to $95 – just over two per cent – and also by $2 at The Remarkables and Mt Hutt to $89. Queenstown holders get a 50 per cent discount on Mt Hutt day passes. 

All NZSki season pass holders get day discounts at Wanaka’s Snow Park and the Mackenzie Country’s Ohau field – the latter was culled from last year’s season’s pass. 

Once again, children six and under go free at Coronet – and the age limit is 10 and under at The Remarkables. NZSki is promising local schoolchildren will receive “sharp deals”.
 
At the other end of the age spectrum, anyone 75 or older gets free skiing.