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South Island’s Cardrona and Treble Cone ski areas to address capacity challenges

South Island’s Cardrona and Treble Cone ski areas to address capacity challenges
April 11, 2023

In an effort to improve guest experience on the mountains, the Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone ski areas in New Zealand’s Southern Lakes are changing the way they sell lift passes for winter 2023.

With the region’s ski areas having been experiencing increased demand from New Zealand’s and internationals alike, Cardrona and Treble Cone have had busy days on the mountains during peak periods, particularly in July and August.

Cardrona and Treble Cone Experiences General Manager, Laura Hedley explained “our guests have told us that over the last couple of years, our experience during those peak times hasn’t been where we want it to be.

“We know that people don’t enjoy struggling to get a carpark or standing in long lift queues.”

To help solve this, the two ski areas are managing daily capacity on the mountains.

Data analysis of skier visits over the last few years has given Cardrona and Treble Cone confidence to manage daily capacities based on how many skiers and snowboarders visit the mountains, using different pass types.

While the same number of season passes and Earlybird multi-day passes (purchased pre-winter) will be sold as previous years, in-season single day and multi-day passes will be limited. The daily allowance of in-season day passes and multi-day passes reflects the average number of other pass types the resorts expect to ski on any given day.

Once the daily capacity is reached, there will be no more day passes available.

The goal for Cardrona is to reduce the number of skiers and snowboarders on the mountain by approximately 1000 on the ski area’s busiest days, compared to peak days between 2020 and 2022.

Hedley notes “there will still be busy days on the mountains - if it’s a bluebird powder day and we have more season pass and Earlybird multi-day pass holders than average, we may have more people on the mountain than what we’re aiming for.

“But we’re serious about making our on-mountain experience better, and we hope this change can help achieve that for our guests and staff.”

Guests who purchase in-season day and multi-day passes will be asked to choose which days and which mountains they will be visiting. Those who buy their passes early in the pre-winter Unlimited season pass and Earlybird multi-day sales will lock in the greatest flexibility - able to ski and snowboard at both mountains, and not needing to commit to fixed days.

Cardrona and Treble Cone are also introducing a new five-day ‘Flexi’ pass at a higher per day rate, which can be used on any day of the season, at either mountain.

Pricing for all in-season passes will change depending on demand. Guests are encouraged to buy online and early to secure the best per day pricing.

Hedley adds “we appreciate this is a big shift in approach, and a New Zealand first.

“However, dynamic pricing is widely used overseas to manage numbers on the mountains, and we’ve heard great feedback on the positive impact this approach has on guest experience.

“As with any big change, we’re expecting a few teething issues. So, we’re asking for feedback, patience and support from our mountain communities as we get this right this winter.”

Season passes are on sale now.

Images: Treble Cone (top) and Cardrona (below).

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10th May 2022 - New Zealand’s ski fields preparing to open for the 2022 winter season

1st April 2022 - NZSki deploys quirky marketing campaign to showcase its three mountains

14th June 2021 - New Zealand Government needs to change visa requirements to ‘save’ nation’s ski industry

7th April 2021 - NZSki welcomes Australians back to New Zealand slopes this winter

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

30th December 2019 - Cardrona Alpine Resort halts chairlift construction to protect native lizards

13th December 2019 - New Zealand Commission clears Cardrona to acquire Treble Cone

4th December 2019 - Significant fall in New Zealand skiing and snowboarding injuries attributed to risk management and education

19th September 2019 - NZSki celebrates the return of kea to The Remarkables

19th August 2019 - Research assesses merits of season passes for New Zealand’s ski fields

15th May 2019 - Skills Active Aotearoa shares Cardrona Alpine Resort’s workforce development practices

3rd April 2019 - Treble Cone introduces early morning First Tracks tickets

28th November 2018 - Fiona Boyer appointed to the role of General Manager Customer at NZSki

25th July 2018 - Cardrona Alpine Resort set to double in size

31st May 2018 - Treble Cone ski field welcomes new Brand Manager

29th May 2018 - Cardrona Alpine Resort to open this weekend

5th April 2018 - Treble Cone welcomes new Ski Area General Manager

6th March 2018 - New Zealand ski areas report record visitation during 2017 winter season

28th June 2012 - Fresh Snow in advance of Treble Cone opening

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