Cardrona skifield opens for season

CHE BAKER
Last updated 12:15 20/06/2014
Cardrona opening day 2014
CHE BAKER/Fairfax NZ
Cardrona Groms team members Campbell Melville-Ives (left) and Finley Melville-Ives (third left), seven-year-old twins from Wanaka, catch the first chairlift of the snow season with parents Karen and Neil at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

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Eager skiers and snowboarders have kicked off the snow season in Wanaka this morning under a bluebird sky at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Resort sales and marketing manager Nadia Ellis said it was hoped about 500 people would descend on the mountain today to mark the occasion. "There is something quite special about opening day.''

It was disappointing that snow forecast for this week did not eventuate but it was fantastic to have the skifield open, Ellis said.

"It was so touch and go earlier in the week ... If it had of been 2 degrees lower during the recent rainstorm it would have fallen as snow,'' she said.

However, the snow-making team had been working hard, which allowed the resort to open the McDougall's quad chairlift and learner and kindy conveyors.

"We are really close to getting White Star and Captains (chairlifts) open.  We just need a couple of good nights of snow-making,'' she said.

Excitement was brewing for the opening party tomorrow, which will feature performances by New Zealand soul singer Hollie Smith and most likely a snow dance in a bid to generate more snow, she said.

The resort will be offering half-price ski passes until extra terrain and chairlifts can open.

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