INDEPENDENT NEWS

Queenstown snow delivers for festival

Published: Sun 3 Jul 2016 08:54 PM
Queenstown snow delivers for festival, visitors, school groups
Queenstown’s winter season is off to a flying start with good snow and freezing overnight temperatures helping deliver superb conditions for festival events and thousands of domestic and overseas visitors.
Over the past ten days The Remarkables ski area has hosted hugely successful events including the GoPro Mountain Bikes on Snow, Skin to the Summit, DB Export Dog Derby, Mountain Mayhem and today’s Monster Energy Slopestyle (Sunday July 4).
Heading into a busy few weeks with school groups from around Australia already enjoying skiing and boarding on the slopes, followed by the start of the New Zealand school holidays on July 9, it’s announced extended hours from tomorrow (Monday July 5).
The Remarkables will operate First Tracks from 8am on the Curvey Basin chairlift, enabling earlybird skiers and boarders to enjoy first runs of the day on newly-groomed corduroy. A First Tracks pass can be added to a day pass, and season pass holders with a First Tracks option at Coronet Peak can use it at The Remarkables.
Boasting a solid 60cm of snow on the upper slopes and 35cm at base, a return to colder overnight temperatures has also seen The Remarkables receive 5cm of new snow fall on Saturday, and a further dusting on Sunday.
Thanks to the temperature drop, the ski area’s arsenal of snow guns has also sprung into action, pushing 110 litres a second onto the slopes.
“Queenstown has just been going off with people enjoying the skiing, great snow, the atmosphere and fun events,” says The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence.
“We’ve had hundreds of Australian students in school groups on the slopes here each day and they’ve been loving it. It certainly helps spread the message about the snow we’ve got into that important Australian market.
“We’ve spent the past two years investing heavily in infrastructure such as our award-winning base building, the Curvey Basin chair accessing so much new terrain, sealing the access road and more car parks, all of which means we can easily accommodate growing numbers of visitors.”
Queenstown’s wide range of tourism activity providers, accommodation, retail and hospitality outlets are all looking forward to a busy couple of months.
This week, Queenstown Airport launches into its eight-week winter peak, with overall capacity scheduled to increase 20% compared to last winter. Domestic capacity is up 24% and international up 14%, and peak days this winter are likely to be this Saturday (July 9) and July 16, with 28 landings on each of these days. Of those landings, there are two more international flights coming into the resort each day compared to last winter.
Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd is delighted with how winter has panned out so far.
“We’ve had a great start to winter and support for the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival has been at an all-time high, with good numbers both in town generally and attending Festival events.
“There’s a great buzz on the street as lots of visitors enjoy the huge range of activities Queenstown has to offer on a winter holiday, both on and off the mountains.
“Anecdotally, numbers seem strong as people wrap up warmly, get out and about and enjoy the beautiful winter weather we have been having.”
For a ‘wrap’ video on a week of snow events at The Remarkables, please click here.
For information on passes, rentals and lessons, and to keep track of conditions, go to www.nzski.com
ENDS

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