New builds boost ski town

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Progress is being made on The Remarkables skifield’s new base building as Queenstown counts down to the opening of an indoor ‘dry slope’ terrain park.

The indoor park will replicate features of the surrounding skifields, including NZSki’s nearby Remarkables where work on the new $20 million base building is progressing after a slow start.

Ski area manager Ross Lawrence says: “It’s going very well. 

“We’ve got the ceiling of the basement concreted in now and 85 per cent of the floor down for the ground level.

“Pillars are going up for the supporting structure on the ground level and you can define the spaces in there now which is great.”

The build was hampered by spring snow but weeks of sun over Christmas allowed project managers Arrow International and contractors to press on.

“We’ve had stable weather, which has put us in a better position to achieve our objective by early May,” Lawrence says. 

Meanwhile, the indoor park is due to open at Frankton’s Remarkables Park before winter.

Construction is already underway on the facility at the new ‘recreation precinct’, also home to go-karts and laser tag.

PowderPak Parks Queenstown, over 600 square metres, features a ‘white, tight and super-slippery’ carpet-like surface.

There’ll be boxes, rails and jumps – with a state-of-the-art airbag for safe landings.

The brand has three popular parks in Australia, where the concept originated, and two Queenstowners have set up a new company to open a park here.

Director Shane Logmans says the park will cater for people of all abilities.

“Our company aim is to progress New Zealand’s presence in snow sports on the world stage, safely,” he says.

“Being able to ski or snowboard all year round in a safe environment means constant progression and no riding ‘downtime’.

“Riders won’t have to waste their first weeks [on the mountain] trying to get the feeling back, instead their skills will have improved since the previous winter. We’re super excited about this.”

Logmans and Shaun Leathley are directors, while Daniel Jamieson will be chief executive.

Auckland’s Snowplanet was NZ’s first indoor ski slope but features man-made snow.

PowderPak Parks Queenstown – which is expected to charge $290 for early bird season passes – will be open 12 hours a day.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz