NIGHT RIDING AND ON-MOUNTAIN FACILITIES A HIT AT SNOW PARK NZ

Snow Park NZ closed on a high note yesterday afternoon with the Chop Washed Up Cup, bringing to an end a successful 2008 season that featured excellent snow coverage throughout and many well received new developments.

Introduced this year, Wanaka’s only night skiing and riding proved popular with both tourists and locals as did the new Mountain Dew Night Sessions competition series. Both will be expanded for the 2009 season to offer more night riding and evening events.

Despite a slightly later than planned opening the consistent natural snowfalls, supported by a solid snowmaking base, allowed Snow Park NZ to open up more terrain features in 2008 than any other year. The redeveloped Half Pint Park was well received with a noticeable increase in novice riders testing their freestyle skills. With the Snow Girls Camps fully booked and the newly launched nzsnowboard.com camps, the park school program was busy this season.

While Visitor numbers were slightly down on last year dollar spend rose and accommodation occupancy rates for the on-mountain luxury apartments and bunkrooms increased by more than 50%. Snow Park NZ also received more spectators enjoying the world-class and fun events staged and utilising the resort facilities.

There was plenty of spectacular action on display during Snow Park’s 2008 event calendar. The resort hosted many major international ski and snowboard events: Burton New Zealand Open, NZ Freeski Open, Billabong Snowstock, attracting some of the world’s best snow athletes including top freeskier Tanner Hall (USA), Olympic gold medllist Kelly Clark (USA), Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), overall winner of the Burton Global Open Series 2008 and Ryoh Aono (JPN) the top ranked rider in the world on the World Cup circuit.

Snow Park NZ manager Sam Lee said he was delighted with the way the season had gone and pleased the new developments had proved a hit.

“The terrain park has really advanced this season to offer a diverse range of primed features for all levels of riders and skiers and we are particularly pleased with the success of installing the light towers for night riding and skiing. It is also good to see the on-mountain facilities attracting a wider group of visitors to Snow Park NZ. We are looking forward to the gondola development and further exciting projects at the resort,” he said.

Once the snow melts and the ground dries out Snow Park NZ becomes a haven for downhill mountain bikers. Dirt Park NZ uses the freestyle trails to create challenging and fun features for the bikers to play on. Open throughout the summer months see www.snowparknz.com for further details.