LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand, (09 October, 2008) Lake Wanaka brings a successful winter season to a close this weekend with all four resorts, Treble Cone, Snow Park NZ, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm, reporting good visitor numbers, great snow conditions throughout and many successful world-class events.

Visitor numbers at Cardrona were up on previous years. The new high speed Captain’s Express quad, Captain’s Café and improved slopestyle course were all met with enthusiasm while the 22-foot superpipe, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere took centre stage for top snowboarders competing in the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup Half Pipe last month with top performer, Kohhei Kudoh (JAP), gaining one of the highest scoring runs in half pipe history.

Wanaka’s only night skiing and riding, introduced this year at Snow Park NZ, proved popular with both tourists and locals enjoying the experience of skiing under the stars. The resort is looking to offer more night riding and evening events for the 2009 season. The on mountain accommodation also proved a hit, with overnight visitors, staying in the luxury apartments and bunkrooms, up more than 50%.

Treble Cone enjoyed fantastic skiing and riding conditions throughout the season, particularly in August. Late season snowfalls ensured good coverage from top to bottom of the mountain providing good conditions spring conditions through to the end of the season in early October.

Snow Farm NZ successfully staged the FIS ANC Cross Country Cup attracting a strong field of men and women from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and France. The Snow Farm trails also offer ideal terrain for the running of sled dogs and hosted New Zealand's many on-snow dog sled competitions as well as offering commercial trips.

The region’s event calendar was packed with the most elite level events for freestyle skiing and snowboarding, alpine ski racing, cross country and big mountain contests than anywhere in the country. Elite snow sports athletes from around the world travelled to compete and entertain the crowds for the Burton New Zealand Open and Billabong Snowstock at Snow Park NZ, The Volkl Free Ski Open staged at Snow Park and Treble Cone, the Australia & NZ Continental Cup also at Treble Cone and the first event of the 2008-09 FIS World Cup snowboarding calendar, the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup Half Pipe at Cardrona.

All four resorts hosted Olympic and National snow sports teams who look to continue training through their summer months. Many international teams were also drawn to the area in preparation for Winter Games NZ 2009. Attracting hundreds of athletes from Pacific Rim countries and beyond, Lake Wanaka’s resorts will take centre stage for many of the ski and snowboard elements of the biggest snow sports event outside of the Winter Olympics.

In May consent was given to build the first gondola in New Zealand to access a ski resort. The $16.6million gondola project will service Snow Park NZ, Snow Farm and a third planned ski area, Roaring Meg Resort. Treble Cone is in the final stages of gaining resource consent approval to also build a gondola from the bottom of the access road to the base buildings.

Lake Wanaka Tourism chief executive John Alldred is thrilled with the success of the 2008 winter. “It is great to attract so many international teams, events and visitors to Lake Wanaka’s resorts who experience the diverse terrain and snow sports on offer. The resorts invest heavily in their world-class facilities allowing us to offer holiday makers a fantastic visit,” he said.

For further information on Lake Wanaka, visit http://www.skilakewanaka.com.


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