NZSki is holding its 2013 season pass prices despite a dismal season commercially.
As the Queenstown ski resort giant prepares to close Coronet Peak and The Remarkables this weekend, NZSki bosses are already turning their attention to next winter.
The lack of snow throughout the season has meant the company coffers have been affected but NZSki is choosing to freeze its pass prices for the second year in a row.
NZSki chief executive James Coddington tells Mountain Scene: “Coronet Peak definitely had one of its poorest years financially, while The Remarkables had one of its strongest.
“It’s fair to say it’s been a challenging season for us commercially, but we also understand that it’s been challenging for everyone out there in the community.
“Even though our costs are increasing, the opportunity to increase our prices is certainly not there and it’s not something that we want to look at for this year. We are happy to absorb those costs,” he says.
The early-bird price of the Queenstown Pass – access to both Coronet Peak and The Remarkables – will remain at $889 for adults and $589 for youths and seniors.
The Remarkables Pass’ early-bird price will continue to be $499 for adults and $299 for youths and seniors.
The NZSki Pass – also including Mt Hutt – will be $999 during the early-bird period.
This season’s sweetener of offering $100 Mypass credits to loyal season-pass holders won’t continue.
NZSki was heavily criticised by the community when it hiked its pass prices from $799 to $889 in 2010.
NZSki marketing manager Craig Douglas says recovering cost increases by putting prices up again wouldn’t work.
“Pricing’s the black art from hell – it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, pricing’s always very difficult.
“Right now the collective thought across the business is the price is the price, let’s leave it alone this year.”
But prices will have to climb again in the future, Douglas adds.
“That will come about as a result of what economic climate we’re faced with, whatever investment decisions are made and what’s happening in the marketplace.”
Despite the least amount of natural snowfall since 1988, season pass usage was up on last year, with an average of 17 days per person for four hours a day.
“If they bought their pass for $889 that works out to be $52 a day. That’s great – it means they’re using their passes,” Coddington says.
All you need to know
Queenstown Pass (Coronet Peak and The Remarkables):
Early-bird $889 (adult) $589 (youth/senior) (to March 14, 2013)
Main season $1299 (adult) $899 (youth/senior) (March 15 to end of season)
The Remarkables Pass:
Early-bird $499 (adult) $299 (youth/senior)
Main season $799 (adult $549 (youth/senior)
NZSki Pass (Coronet, Remarkables, Mt Hutt):
Early-bird $999 (adult) $699 (youth/senior)
Main season $1499 (adult) $1099 (youth/senior)
Eight-part payment plan (sign up before October 31)
Three-part payment plan (November 1 to March 2013)