Remarks lifts next to get nip ‘n’ tuck

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The Remarkables skifield is “next in line” for a chairlift makeover by NZSki.

With big sister Coronet Peak’s lifts recently future-proofed with digital tech­nology, plans are imminent for an overhaul of The Remark­ables lifts, ski area boss Ross Lawrence says.

“It’s been on the plan for two or three years and it is getting higher up the list.

“If you can appreciate, Coronet Peak is a premier ski area and we recognised that’s where the money had to be spent first but … we’re next in line so watch this space.”

The Remarkables’ Alta chairlift was shut down due to “operator error” for 70 minutes on opening day last Saturday.

A liftie accidentally pressed a button that isn’t used often, which “put the lift on slow and couldn’t ramp up to start”, Lawrence says.

“It took a while to detect it because it wasn’t an obvious fault. We did get it up and running and we actually ran that lift through to 4.30pm.”

Staff took skiers and riders up to the Sugarbowl chair during the shutdown.

“It wasn’t such a biggie because other chairs out of the base area were operating.”

Opening day was one of the best since the field opened in 1985, with Homeward runs and the Shadow chairlift operating – that’s unheard of, according to locals.

“As soon as you start talking about Shadow opening, locals recognise there’s a bit of snow up here, and when you mention Homeward run as well, they go ‘wow, it must be good’,” Lawrence says.

“It was awesome. It couldn’t have been any better – in fact, we don’t know when it was any better.”