Skyline lifts its game

Upgrade looms: Skyline's luge operation

Skyline Queenstown’s luge chairlift might get a $5 million replacement.

The tourism giant has lodged a consent to scrap its current two-seater lift for a four-seater.

If approved, the new lift would be built mostly parallel to the current lift.

Skyline Queenstown boss Lyndon Thomas says the upgrade’s been prompted by long luge waiting times and an attempt to cater for more people.

“In our peak times our guests are having to wait sort of 35 to 40 minutes.”

“For us that’s not an acceptable time for guests to have a wait for a luge ride.”

All going to plan, Thomas hopes the project will be under way this year.

He reckons construction would take between seven to eight months to complete.

But luge operations should only halt for about four weeks.

Between 80 and 90 per cent of the proposed four-seater lift can be built parallel to the current lift, which allows its operation to continue, he says.

The consent shows the chairlift would come with a new luge cart conveyor system, that automatically moves carts from the lift into the learner’s area.

Other notable changes include erecting three small buildings for operations and emergency purposes, the partial removal of the covered top terminal and workshop building and a walkway “over the top of the luge tracks”.

Removal of the existing photo sales building at the luge’s lower lift terminal site has already been approved. Under a new consent, it would be re-built later.

Thomas says the luge consent is separate to the proposed $100m gondola redevelopment.