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What is NZSki's strategy to re-opening?

Emma Olsen
The Remarkables Ski Field
The Remarkables Ski Field  The Remarkables - Facebook

NZSki is keeping optimistic that ski fields will reopen as soon as possible and strategising ways to attract Kiwis.

NZSki, which owns and runs Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Mt Hutt ski fields, has had to adapt quickly to COVID-19. 

Chief Executive Officer of NZSki, Paul Anderson, said the team was working through different scenarios for what the operation would look like this year.

"We haven't locked in dates yet to reopen, but we are remaining cautiously optimistic that we will be able to open mid to late June."

The team has been working hard to come up with ways in which they can operate safely and sustainably this season.

NZSki has decided to keep its three peak season passes and multi-day passes at the early bird pricing until the beginning of the season.

"This pricing was meant to increase at the end of March, but with so much uncertainty felt we needed to give people some more time."

Paul acknowledges how much Kiwis love outdoors so NZSki has been looking at initiatives such as partnering with other businesses in Queenstown and Methven to create stay and play packages.

The main concern for NZSki is being permitted to operate.

"We are confident we can operate safely at Level two or below. We've been working with our industry colleagues to share ideas on social distancing so we can learn from each other.

"Some things we have been talking about is making sure there is physical distancing on chairlifts and gondolas by spreading guests out or getting them to travel in their family bubbles. Limiting the number of people accessing inside facilities, serving food in outdoor areas, and cashless operations."

Usually, tourists in Queenstown would make up 40% of their total guests.

Last year all three mountains had a total visitation of around 700,000 people. This year they are expecting 50% of their normal visitor numbers.

"Our team is doing a great job to plan our operation with significantly reduced skier numbers in mind to minimise the impact it will have on our business. We do know that it will be a challenging season, but we do want to get our resorts open and give everyone in the community the chance to get out there this season."

Paul said as always the team was excited about getting people onto the mountains and sharing their passion for snow sports. 

Packed mountain full of skiiers and snowboarders at The Remarkables
Packed mountain full of skiiers and snowboarders at The Remarkables The Remarkables - Facebook