June, 2020Three Queenstown and Wanaka ski areas opened this month amid
bluebird conditions to the cheers of eager Kiwi skiers and snowboarders,
albeit without the Australian market just now which makes up to 40
percent of visitors.
Thousands of people skied and snowboarded at Coronet Peak Ski Area in
Queenstown, and Cardrona and Treble Cone, near Wanaka, as they
opened for the season in late June amid great conditions. The
Remarkables Ski Area in Queenstown opens on July 4, in time for the
school holiday crowds.
The Australian market usually makes up to 40 percent of ski season
visitors to the area with Kiwis normally making up about half.
Southern ski fields may operate at a loss during the 2020 season with
borders restrictions but their opening will give nearby towns a huge
financial and psychological boost.
NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson said the company is expecting a
slightly stimulated domestic market this season with Kiwis unable to
He says Coronet Peak was looking "absolutely fantastic" and it was
important to open to protect the company's assets and provide
downstream benefits to the wider business community.
He estimated the ski industry was worth around $150million in direct
spend nationally in a normal year, with up to 50 per cent of that spent
"But more importantly [it] creates physical and mental health benefits
through safe access to the mountain environments."
As NZSki worked through the Covid-19 levels, they were determined to
open for the local community, he said.
"At the end of the day they provide the core of our business."
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce spokesman Craig Douglas said the
ski field openings would bring a sense of normality for many locals.
"People are looking forward to going to ski and getting on the snow and
often that is one of the reasons they live here."
Some were also quietly excited about smaller crowds, he said.
"But if you're in business in town you're probably quite happy to share a
Many Queenstown activity providers will run during the upcoming school
holidays but will likely reduce their operations during term time.
An increase in domestic flights into Queenstown during the school
holidays also provided a much-needed boost for many businesses in the
Source: stuff news & Mountain Scene
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