Cardrona Alpine Resorts General Manager Bridget Legnavsky is confident that visitors will keep coming to Cardrona and Treble Cone for the rest of the season, after “the most incredible couple of weeks” of school holidays.
The July holiday period was set to be a key indicator for how busy the resorts would be this season, and therefore how much they would be able to stay open and operational for the entire winter.
Legnavsky said that the resorts had been surprised by the school holiday visitor numbers, which were “very close to those of 2019.” After their forecast of a 50 per cent decline in business due to closed borders and the impact of Covid-19 did not eventuate, the resorts were overwhelmed because of lower staff numbers and record numbers of cars on the mountain.
Legnavsky last week wrote an open apology to visitors for “teething issues” which caused heavy traffic queues and delays during some of the busiest days last week. “We didn’t get our forecast right. We had far more people than we expected and planned for. For this, we want to apologise wholeheartedly,” she said.
However, the response on social media has been largely supportive, with the vast majority of participants acknowledging that staff did a “great job” in less than ideal circumstances.
With the support of the last two weeks in mind, Legnavsky has since confirmed that “right now, our intention is to absolutely stay open for the full season. The information we have is giving us confidence that the numbers will remain strong enough.”
Whilst acknowledging that “anything could still happen, and people will react in different ways. If numbers drop right off and remain at a point we can’t cover costs, then we will need to consider our options,” she added. She said she [couldn’t] see it happening.
“The season is just going to keep getting better and better, with great snow already and much more in the forecast,” said Legnavsky.
View edition 984 of the Wānaka Sun here.