New Zealand Beats Back COVID-19 -- Local Ski Season Is A Go

Though the title might seem a bit overdramatic, the point still holds. The country of New Zealand has seen no new cases of COVID-19 in approximately three weeks time, with the last person known to be suffering from COVID-19 being announced as recovered on June the 8th.

As part of the happy news for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did a short live stream via Facebook to report on the last case having recovered and what to expect as the country moves to Alert Level 1, the lowest on a four-level scale.

What does this mean for the upcoming ski season? Well, it means that it can go off as close to without a hitch as possible. With the country moving down to Alert Level 1, there will no longer be restrictions on businesses being open, gathering numbers, or social distancing requirements. 

However, there will be some things to keep in mind for the upcoming season. The first, as PM Ardern explained, is that the borders will still be closed to outside nationals. Meaning, those of us here in the U.S. that are itching to get back on snow can't jump on a plane and head to New Zealand. They aren't quite ready to open up to the world yet, which includes their closest neighbor, Australia.

Secondly, some of the mountains, though not running restricted due to COVID-19, are going to have to run in a much different capacity. For example, on the Cardrona Alpine Resort website, they have a quick overview as to what to expect at Cardrona and Treble Cone Ski Center.

"With the changing alert levels and requirements, it's been a challenge to put concrete plans in place for the 2020 season. At Cardrona and Treble Cone, we've been working through multiple different operational scenarios. Now New Zealand is in Level 1, and it's looking to remain that way for a while, we're able to share how our mountains will be running when they open for the season.

Because we're expecting around 50% of our usual visitors, there will be a few changes to how we will be running this season. The biggest difference is that we won't have as many staff as normal, so we appreciate in advance your patience and kindness with our whanau as they adapt to the changes this season.

Please note: All of this information is accurate as of Opening Day for each mountain – we'll let you know if there are any updates to the below if and when anything changes!" -
Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona has also said that other services might have some limitations due to staffing issues, as well as having to keep one lift closed due to maintenance setbacks stemming from the COVID-19 lockdown. However, both Cardrona and Treble Cone will be very close to full operation, with more details available at the link below.

What's Happening in Winter 2020 | Content Hub | Cardrona NZ

This year at Cardrona we'll be running 7 of our 8 food and beverage outlets, with Little Meg closed for the season: Noodle Bar - with signature dishes of ramen, and poke bowls Base Cafe - your grab and go favourites, fish & chips, sammies, slow-cooked mountain meals and more Base Bar - hot drinks, beer, wine, spirits, smoothies, and grab and go sweet treats Mezz - our table service restaurant with a focus on local ingredients and amazing food!

A huge shout out and congratulations to our Kiwi Brothers & Sisters on their very effective handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and enjoy your season! Don't forget to take a few turns for us up here in the States. 

Photo: By Tim Meyer For Ski Rex Media Using The Following:

Treble Cone, Wanaka NZ - Saddle Basin Snowboarder - TrebleCone1 / CC BY-SA

Flag of New Zealand - !Original:Albert Hastings MarkhamVector: Zscout370, Hugh Jass, s. File history / Public domain


Please check out the Ski Rex Media sponsors and partners. I love these folks and I think you would, too.