NZSki CEO Paul Anderson said it was disappointing to be so close to opening the multi-million-dollar building but the top priority was to ensure the building was properly completed and certified for public use.
“The contractors and the ski area management team have put a massive amount of effort into getting the building to this stage, and it’s incredibly close, but there are critical elements of the building that are not yet complete,” said Mr Anderson.
“On an almost weekly basis over the past few months the building team has had to deal with snow, ice or wind, or often a combination of all three at once.
“Obviously we’re up a mountain and we’d always anticipated having to battle the elements to some degree, but to be honest those ongoing weather challenges have taken their toll on the building programme.
“It’s come right down to the wire and we’re extremely close, given that this is a building programme that’s been underway for nine months. For the past few weeks we’ve had people knuckling down to get the job done 24/7, with incredible support and commitment from the local community.
“Unfortunately the snow forecast over the next couple of days will hinder those final preparations even more. And, as I’m sure everyone will understand, we can’t control Mother Nature.”
Chairman of the NZSki board of directors Sir John Davies said they were disappointed about the delayed opening.
“Up until the last ten days I thought we would make our deadline, but really difficult, windy weather has meant a delay in achieving a certificate of compliance. Safety is paramount to us and we’ll strive to complete the building as soon as possible.
“The board wants to place on record and thank our management, staff and contractors for their tremendous efforts over the last nine months. The directors are very proud of the new building and know it will be loved by all Remarkables patrons.”
Mr Anderson said that once the building programme was completed, it would require two full days of cleaning. It then needs to be certified by the relevant building authorities before it can open to the public.
“We also need our staff working in or from the building to have operational training and test the new systems before we open.
“It’s critical for us to take this extra time with our team so on opening day all systems are operating seamlessly, everything’s running like clockwork and we deliver a world-class experience for our guests.”
Mr Anderson said a confirmed opening day for The Remarkables would be announced “as soon as possible”.
“We appreciate how much people were looking forward to the opening this weekend and we thank everyone for their patience. We’re confident it will be well worth the slightly longer wait, and our guests will be really impressed.”
The ski area is not in a position to operate from its old base building as a commitment had been made to the new building and operational equipment moved out.
Until the ski area and base building does open, all Remarkables-only season pass holders will be able to ski at Coronet Peak from today (Thursday June 18) until further notice.
Coronet Peak is the place to be this weekend as it plays host to the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival. A huge drawcard on Saturday is the ‘Jack Links Mountain Bikes on Snow’, guaranteeing thrills and spills on the snow and a great spectator event.