Queenstown will officially open for the ski season tomorrow (Saturday).
Skiers and snowboarders can take to the slopes at Coronet Peak – the first of the region’s six ski fields to open.
With another coating of snow on the mountains over night, the town is buzzing with anticipation.
Coronet Peak manager Hamish McCrostie says: “Our snowmaking and grooming teams have been pulling out all the stops to enable us to open as scheduled on Saturday.
“The investment in our fully-automated snowmaking system has proved its worth once again.
“We’ve had a few days of solid snow making, which is perfect because if we were relying on natural now alone we wouldn’t be opening this weekend.”
Earlier this week, a wintry blast swept the South Island dropping 10cm of natural snow on the mountain. More snow and continued cold temperatures are in the current forecast.
Coronet Peak has had 116 snow guns blazing across the mountain for days, pumping over 42,000 cubic metres of water in 12 hours.
“We’re all very excited to confirm it’s all systems go for 9am Saturday morning.
“It’s great news for Queenstown and I know there are many skiers and boarders out there who are just itching to get their first few runs under their belt.”
Cardrona’s Snow Park NZ is scheduled to open next Friday, June 15, followed by The Remarkables the next day, Cardrona Alpine Resort on June 22, and Treble Cone on June 28.
Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd says: “It’s snow time!
“Queenstown looks picture perfect with fresh snow on the mountains and there’s a real buzz around town now as everybody gears up for winter.”
Throughout the winter season with various events will be held at the ski fields and town.
Highlights include the Free Ski World Cup Half Pipe and Snowboard World Cup Half Pipe (August 20-26), Winter Games Adventure Film Festival (August 24-26), Gay Ski Week (August 25–September 1), Northface Freeski Open of NZ – Slopestyle and Halfpipe (August 28-September 1 at Snow Park) and the Big Mountain (September 3-8 at The Remarkables).
Throughout the season, there will be 32 direct trans-Tasman flights a week.
Tomorrow, Coronet Peak will open with the Coronet Express Quad providing access to the main M1 and Express Way trails.
The Meadows Express lift will enable skiers and boarders to access the Big Easy novice trail and carpet lifts to the main beginners’ area, and the Skiwiland lift will also be operating.
Base building services open will include rental, Snowsports school, the Coronet restaurant and café, coffee bar, guest services, the retail Snow Shop and Skiwiland daycare.
Coronet Peak’s traditional ‘First On The Chair’ T-shirts will be handed out to earlybirds who are first in the queue for the Coronet Express Quad chair lift. Skiers and boarders will also be rewarded with a celebratory glass of bubbles.