The first 8-person chairlift in New Zealand is officially set for construction.
Mt. Hutt is located on the South Island of New Zealand, roughly 50 miles from Christchurch. The ski area has three chairlifts and a magic carpet and is owned by NZSki who also operates Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.
Name: Nor’west Express
Company: Leitner Poma
Capacity: 3000 people per hour
Ride Time: 2 Minutes
The new chairlift will transform the way guests access the mountain and improve skier flow. The current Quad Chair has a ride time of 7 minutes and a capacity of 1,500 people per hour but will be reduced significantly with the addition of the new chairlift.
“This lift will follow the same path up the mountain as the Quad currently does so will provide the best access to our terrain parks. This means we expect to see less demand for our Summit Six chairlift and some of our upper mountain trails at peak times.”
– James McKenzie, General Manager of Mt. Hutt Ski Area
The Nor’west Express chairlift is set for construction to begin in October 2020 and is expected to be ready for the 2021 winter season. Each chair will weigh around a ton to assist with wind resistance and have padded seats and footrests. The chairlift will come with various bells and whistles such as cable de-icing, a night drive system, fully automated in-terminal chair parking, and a loading carpet.
It’s great to see investments made into ski resorts, no matter the size, with so much uncertainty surrounding operations due to Covid-19. Best of luck to Mt. Hutt as they start off on their exciting, groundbreaking endeavor.