Ski area enhanced as season nears
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Stage one of the Remarkables ski area's $45 million transformation is almost complete, with a huge amount of work being undertaken during summer.
A blanket of snow covering the mountain on Monday gave a good snapshot of what the transformations would look like come winter.
A reconfigured car park will now lead to rows of high rock-filled gabion baskets, which while probably snowed under, will form steps leading directly to the lower terminal of the new six-seater Curvey Basin chairlift and a learners area widened by more than 30 metres.
Building the lower terminal and widening the learners area involved massive earthworks and shifting the flow of an alpine stream.
Ski Area manager Ross Lawrence said the top terminal of the chairlift would be finished in the next few days, and from there six towers would be erected in the next two weeks.
"All that's left to do after that is hang cable - and that'll mean we should be well on track to have the lift fully commissioned for the end of May, and working perfectly for the start of season," he said.
Earthmoving to enhance trails was complete, new roading and the final configuration of the car park was 80 per cent complete, and foundation work for a new base building, which would be complete for the start of the 2015 snow season, had already begun.
Sealing the first four kilometres of the skifield access road would begin by the end of the week, with the entire road expected to be sealed by the start of the 2015 season.
Summing up the massive amount of work and investment that had taken place, Lawrence said it had been a pleasure to manage.
"There's a really dramatic shift in the look, feel and functionality of the place. It's been a hugely busy four months, and its very exciting to have winter just around the corner, when everything will come together. Our challenge is to meet the expectations of our guests, and while we know our base building is dated, we're hoping our guests will enjoy the new facilities this winter, while being patient and looking forward to the opening of our new base building next winter."
Planned ski field opening dates Southern Lakes Ski Field Opening Dates: The Remarkables: Saturday, June 21 Coronet Peak: Saturday, June 7 Cardrona: Friday, June 20 Treble Cone: Thursday, June 26
- The Southland Times
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