This is serious. TRM will need to rebrand their “Welcome to Turangi” notice board to: “TROUT FISHING & SKI CAPITAL”???
RAL’s (Ruapehu Alpine Lifts) campaign is to attract more domestic and international skiers to Turangi and to the central North Island ski fields. RAL – operators of Whakapapa skifields – are to turn the Turangi region into New Zealand’s favourite ski area of choice.
RAL announced in December they were pushing ahead with a $100 million infrastructure upgrade on Mt Ruapehu.
We repeat: $100 million infrastructure upgrade on Mt Ruapehu.
Imagine that: $100 Million… Wow!
The proposal has been described as a “game changer” by everyone who knows about it – particularly for Turangi!!!
This is by far the biggest investment in the Turangi/Tongariro region since the town was built 50 years ago. Turangi will boom…
RAL chief executive Ross Copland provided more detail on plans to put Mt Ruapehu on the world stage as the country’s “ski region of choice”. He said Whakapapa ski field has significant points of difference to the ski offerings of the South Island and it was time they were capitalised on.
Turangi is already a world famous tourist destination for trout fishing the Tongariro River and also the closest destination to Whakapapa ski field. So it’s going to be a game changer – really exciting development for Turangi.
This would have to be the biggest $$$ investment in local tourism ever. We already know our district has a lot to offer and this has the potential to put Turangi on the world stage as a ski destination of choice. There would also be significant wider economic benefits for the district as the proposal includes a free shuttle service from Whakapapa Village.
The ‘added value’ component to Turangi will be massive and sustainable.
On the mountain, the company is bringing in world-first technology that will allow snow to be made in temperatures up to 25 degrees. Construction of $45 million worth of new base area facilities and a new gondola and night-skiing will be relaunched at Whakapapa after a long hiatus.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (& TRM) are planning on gaining a strong foot hold in the Australian tourism market and was working with Tourism New Zealand and Destination Great Lake Taupō to ensure the upcoming ski season – and many more to come – brought in crowds who were offered an experience to remember.
Damian Coutts, general manager of Destination Great Lake Taupō, said the number of skiers staying in Taupō and Turangi was relatively small. However, that could change with the region targeting West Islanders. “The key reason we are pushing for Australian is because they stay on average 7-9 days but only three of those days are spent skiing,” Coutts said.
Taupō and Turangi have so much to offer. Coutts said the challenge previously was not having a transport system to the ski fields.
The opening of the 2017 ski season is planned for June 3, a month earlier than usual as a result of the snow-making investment. TRM inmates can’t wait….
Development plans include 8 seat gondolas, at a cost of up to $37 million (WOW!!!) that will run in all weather conditions from the base of Whakapapa to Delta Corner on the upper field. It is part of a strategy to increase visitor numbers over summer and autumn (the ‘shoulder’ season). The gondola may be open in time for the 2018 ski season.
Whakapapa’s Department of Conservation operating licence was renewed in December, allowing the company to press ahead with developments. A new quad chairlift that will replace Whakapapa’s Waterfall T-bar is to be installed this summer. These new lift projects will be supported with investment in greatly increased snowmaking capacity and new chalet buildings on the upper slopes. A new express quad chairlift opened on Whakapapa’s lower field this winter. The entire kids “Happy Valley” playground will increase in size substantially and will be under cover with a ‘magic carpet’ to provide family fun regardless of weather conditions right through into Summer. WONT IT BE GREAT! I wonder if SWMBO will have to build more units? Full marks to RAL!