NZSki’s about to embark on its latest investment in Queenstown skifield The Remarkables.
Over the past two years, the tourism behemoth has spent $45 million installing a new chairlift, completing a new base building and sealing the first four kilometres of the 13km road.
By the end of the month, NZSki says it will start sealing the access road to the 10km mark – work that should be finished by the start of winter.
The final 2.5km section probably won’t be sealed because of the cost and greater difficulty.
There’ll be continuing public access on the road – ensuring there won’t be a repeat of last summer’s clashes.
NZSki and outdoor clubs butted heads last summer after the company exercised its legal right to close the road, citing safety concerns over heavy vehicle traffic servicing the construction of a new base building.
NZSki boss Paul Anderson says the company had “a bit more time to plan” this time, and consulted the Department of Conservation, Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC) and the New Zealand Alpine Club about the project.
They are all “very comfortable” with the arrangements, he says.
FMC president Robin McNeill says the groups appreciated being consulted and are pleased public access will be be maintained.
“We share NZSki’s goal to make it easier for people to enjoy this much-loved area.”
Anderson told Queenstown Chamber of Commerce members at a post-season update yesterday that growth in visitors to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak this winter had been in the ”low double digits”, aided by early snowfalls and 50 per cent more snow than average.
NZSki has to remove its old base building by the end of the 2016-17 summer – a condition of the consent for its replacement. But Anderson says retaining it is still a possibility and a final decision has yet to be made.
The road-sealing project is expected to start at the end of the month and be completed in April.
The road will be open to the public outside the work period from 7.30am to 6.30pm, and will also open to vehicles at 10am and 2.30pm.
Otago Daily Times