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Mt Hutt installs New Zealand’s first eight-seater chairlift  

Mt Hutt installs New Zealand’s first eight-seater chairlift  
September 18, 2020

Mt Hutt has installed New Zealand’s first eight-seater chairlift – the Nor’west Express from Leitner Ropeways – which will replace the current Quad chair.

Comfort, speed, safety, and resilience are key highlights of the new eight-seater with features including padded seats, foot-rest bars and a loading carpet with access gates.

Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie says the new Nor’west Express will improve how guests access the mountain and advises “the ride time of the Nor’west Express is only two minutes and it has capacity to carry up to 3,000 people an hour. The Quad currently takes at-least seven minutes to reach the top and can only move around 1,500 people an hour on a good day so we’re excited that our guests will be able to enjoy more time on the slopes with this new addition.

“This lift will follow the same path up the mountain as the Quad currently does so will provide the best access to our terrain parks. This means we expect to see less demand for our Summit Six chairlift and some of our upper mountain trails at peak times.”

Each chair weighs nearly a tonne and is equipped with a chair swing dampener meaning the lift will be more stable and operate at higher speeds in windy conditions. A cable de-icing and night-drive system coupled with fully automated in-terminal chair parking will drastically improve start-up times on icy mornings.

McKenzie adds “it will be much more robust in variable weather allowing us to get up and running faster after new snow and to operate in stronger winds which in turn will reduce our closed days during the season and provide added value to our guests.”

NZSki Chief Executive, Paul Anderson says the ski area has seen sustained growth over the past five years and the investment is part of a long-term commitment to Mt Hutt and the ski industry.

Anderson enthuses “we are thrilled to be making this investment for Mt Hutt and our loyal community of skiers and snowboarders.

“Our ongoing investments across our three ski areas are key to ensure we provide our guests with world-class experiences and the latest innovations in technology and safety.”

Work is set to start on the new Nor’west Express lift at the end of October and continue through summer. Construction in time for the 2021 season is subject to regulatory approvals and COVID restrictions.

McKenzie adds that it is an exciting time for Methven commenting “between the new chairlift at Mt Hutt and the Opuke Thermal Pools and Spa development in town there’s significant investment happening in the community over the next 10 months.”    

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16th June 2020 - Mt Hutt becomes first ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere to open in 2020

15th May 2020 - New Zealand ski fields look to post-Coronavirus snow season operations

1st May 2020 - New Zealand ski areas look to snow season operations with restrictions

25th November 2019 - Mt Hutt named New Zealand’s best ski resort for fifth year

13th June 2019 - Record conditions and multi-million-dollar upgrades marked at Mt Hutt’s 2019 snow season opening

5th November 2018 - Marking its best ever season, Mt Hutt announces 2019 developments

19th November 2017 - Canterbury’s Mt Hutt once again named New Zealand’s best ski resort

5th October 2017 - Mt Hutt opens New Zealand’s highest spa pool

29th September 2017 - Mt Hutt looks to extend season with new spring camp for freestylers

7th September 2017 - Mt Hutt Ski Field to remain open until mid-October

9th June 2017 - Mt Hutt opening marks beginning of the South Island ski season

12th June 2016 - Thousands turn out for Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt season openings

28th May 2016 - Snowstorm delivers at Canterbury’s Mt Hutt

17th May 2016 - Winter snow coats the slopes of Canterbury’s Mt Hutt

23rd November 2015 - Mt Hutt named New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort at World Ski Awards

21st September 2015 - Mt Hutt extends its ski season

26th July 2014 - Major investment boosts New Zealand ski industry

2nd August 2013 - Mt Hutt celebrates 40 years of fun in the snow

23rd June 2013 - ‘Safety first’ at Mt Hutt with ongoing avalanche control work


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