Skifields across great divide

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There’s already 42km between them – but the gulf between Coronet Peak and The Remarkables skifields is growing.

NZSki bosses are turning the two mountains into separate target markets – one a high-end resort suited predominantly to skiers and the other a “youth action” field that also caters for families.

Coronet Peak has removed all of its jumps, rails and other features as the terrain park investment turns to The Remarkables.

The Remarkables boasts a halfpipe and four terrain parks for all abilities while Coronet Peak has wide terrain ideal for ski racing, plus rolling hillside and hollows for off-piste skiing and riding.

“What we’ve done at Remarkables is try to position it differently to the way we’ve positioned Coronet Peak, so purposely we don’t have any terrain features or halfpipe at Coronet Peak,” says NZSki boss James Coddington.

“Coronet Peak is a sophisticated ski area which attracts the high-end customer. Over 60 per cent of our market is from Australia, so it attracts the tourists. But also it’s got a very loyal following from locals as well.”

But Coddington stops short at the idea of segregating the skiers from the snowboarders.

“Terrain parks cater for the skiers as well. Many skiers are going through those terrain parks as snowboarders are. We still get quite a few snowboarders at Coronet Peak as well as Remarks gets quite a few skiers.

“It’s certainly not there to position skiers and snowboarders [against each other]; it’s about the youth action which is directed at Remarkables.”

Public feedback also approves of the business decision, Coddington says.

“It makes good commercial sense not to compete against yourself. We want to differentiate our two mountains in Queenstown.

“We’ve priced it accordingly – it is cheaper to ski at Remarkables than it is at Coronet Peak.”