First 8-Person Chairlift Coming to New Zealand

Taylor Stephan | | Industry NewsIndustry News
New Zealand
Mt. Hutt, New Zealand. Photo Credit: Mt. Hutt

The first 8-person chairlift in New Zealand is officially set for construction.

NZSki announced Mt. Hutt will be replacing their current “Quad Chair” with a brand new, high speed detachable 8-person chairlift.

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.

8 person chairlift
Rendering of proposed high speed detachable 8-person chairlift. Photo Credit: The Ashburton Courier 

Chairlift Overview

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.

Trail Map
Mt. Hutt trail map. The current Quad Chair is to the middle right. Photo Credit: Ski Maps

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