Ski industry: hopeful but realistic

“The most important thing right now is that we embrace facts and not fear, that we practice kindness and look out for the more vulnerable in our communities. We will get through this, together.” | Image from Cardrona Alpine Resort

In a statement released last Sunday regarding the upcoming winter season at Cardrona Alpine Resorts, General Manager Bridget Legnavsky said that newly-established national alert level three would be “an interesting place for us to work in,” and alert level four would mean closure of the ski fields this winter.

She added that the resorts would need to be “incredibly flexible and adaptable as we move between these levels,” and would be working on how to turn the tap “on and off” in terms of level of operation. She set out a number of different scenarios in accordance with the government’s alert level system, under which Cardona and Treble Cone would be restricted to domestic, local or outdoor-only markets. 

With the most recent announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday, the fate of the ski fields come winter remains unclear. In a statement released on Tuesday, the Snow Farm also acknowledged that “we can't predict what the situation will be on June 19th when we intend to open for the 2020 winter,” adding that “we have more questions than answers about what the next few weeks and months hold for us all.”

“Snow Farm NZ is committed to doing everything in our power to operate this winter, and for that operation to be as normal as possible,” they said. 

Both resorts have put contingency plans in place. Acknowledging the need to be both hopeful and realistic, Legnavsky pointed to the Cardona website which details updates to pass terms and conditions to include the potential impacts of COVID-19 on Winter 2020 at Cardrona and Treble Cone. “If you can’t come skiing this winter because of COVID-19 we will offer you a credit to use your pass in winter 2021 or a refund. If the season is shortened or there are limited facilities then credit or partial refunds are also available,” their website reads. Legnavsky has also suggested that the resort could open later, in August or even September, “so at least we can get our people back on snow.”

Snow Farm NZ is not currently offering refunds, but will transfer passes to winter 2012 in the event that Covid-19 stops pass holders from using the resort. 

Both resorts impressed the importance of standing together in the face of this crisis, particularly regarding those who may find themselves out of work. “I want us as a community to think about this really hard and what we can do to help these people right now. We have to do this together,” said Legnavsky. 

Snow Farm NZ stated that “The most important thing right now is that we embrace facts and not fear, that we practice kindness and look out for the more vulnerable in our communities. We will get through this, together.”


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