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Mt Ruapehu ski areas scheduled to open in July

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Mt Ruapehu is planning to open both Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas on July 1.

RAL CEO Jon Dean says, "We’re all looking forward to opening the mountain for skiing this winter in a few weeks - dependent on snowfall of course.

"Our focus is offering top to bottom skiing at both ski areas, with a beginner focus at Whakapapa’s Happy Valley. Due to the time lost during lockdown and the inability to bring in overseas expertise to work on some of our lifts, we won’t be able to open every lift this season.

"The winter 2020 season at Mt Ruapehu will be unlike any other and the team is striving to offer the best possible ski season for everyone."

Changes for this season include that there won’t be any night skiing at Whakapapa or First Tracks, and RAL will not be operating a transport shuttle service, a service which will instead be provided by local operators.

"Staffing is also stretched due to the borders being closed to the usual overseas ski staff coming in, so this will leave some gaps in our teams. Fortunately, we have been able to retain all of our permanent and summer staff through the lockdown, and we have a great bunch of returning locals who will be able to fill some vacancies. There will still be some jobs available, and those will be advertised on the Mt Ruapehu website once we have our 2020 team confirmed," Jono says.

The exact details in relation to COVID-19 restrictions and how they will apply to mountain visitors won’t be known until the Government announces changes to Alert Levels on June 22.

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