Ski fields prepare for winter season under coronavirus alert level 2

The chairs are being bolted back onto the ski lifts at Mt Hutt as the staff prepare to reopen the ski fields. 

The team is hoping to open the mountain in one month and James Mckenzie - the ski area manager -  says it's all moving in a "very positive direction".

"For us to get through this period of lockdowns and for us to be planning for opening soon, it's really exciting and the team around us are really excited about getting going," he told Newshub. 

The Government's indicating ski fields across New Zealand can open under alert level 2.

For some ski fields it's going to be a bit different this year. The plan at Mt Hutt is to be open for three days a week to begin with and that will be scaled up to the five best weather days a week by July. 

Pete Woods owns Methven's Ski Time lodge and restaurant - his business is reliant on the winter ski season.

"We have a lot of core staff that have been here for a long time - 10 years to 15 years and we certainly don't want to let them go, so we are really excited to see the mountain open," he said.

In the North Island, Mount Ruapehu's hoping to open in six to seven weeks.

Down south, Wanaka's Cardrona ski resort is opening on the 27th of June and Treble Cone a day later.

Coronet Peak will open mid-June while The Remarkables only for the July school holidays and weekends - everyone is managing the numbers, implementing contract tracing, and increasing cleaning in high touch areas.

New Zealand Ski chief executive Paul Anderson says the message is safety first. 

"There's a real will for people to get out of their bubbles and get out and enjoy the things they love," he said.

"For us that's what we love, bringing people up into these areas and we just want to do it in a safe way."

The 2020 ski season is looking up - the only thing missing now is the snow. 

 

 

 

 

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