by Greta Yeoman
“Have snow, will open.”
That is the message from South Canterbury skifield operators, who are hoping for a good run when the season starts next month.
However, despite early snowfall this year, it was still uncertain if the weather would continue to bring snow to the slopes, Ohau Snow Fields co-owner Mike Neilson said.
“I’d say it’s too early [to say], but we got over 1m.”
Ohau was set to open on June 30, he said.
“Have snow, will open.
“[We are] looking forward to a great season.”
Fox Peak Ski Club president Alistair Miller said club members had been doing working bees to upgrade the road and other parts of the ski fields.
“[I would] like to think with the way the weather’s been going [the season will be good] .. but there’s also been rain.”
Mr Miller said the club was hoping to open the ski area by the July school holidays, but that would depend on how much snow there was.
“Everyone’s got their fingers crossed.”
Mt Dobson marketing manager Mike Smith said the skifield was set to open on July 7, the Friday before the school holidays.
The weather had been “quite similar” to last year, which had been a good season.
Last year’s ski season had also prompted an increased uptake of early-bird season passes, he said.
“[They have] gone really well.”
The skifield had also offered $99 passes for school-age skiers and snowboarders, and was also expected to host weekly visits from South Canterbury schools, including Mackenzie College, Fairlie Primary School and Geraldine High School.
Mr Smith said the interest in the winter sport had increased after Kiwi teenagers Nico Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott broke New Zealand’s 26-year Winter Olympics medal drought when they won bronze medals earlier this year in South Korea.
“That’s been great.”