LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand, (5 October, 2009) Lake Wanaka brought a successful winter season to a close at the weekend with all four resorts, Treble Cone, Snow Park NZ, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm, reporting excellent visitor numbers, great snow conditions throughout and many successful world-class events.

For Cardrona Alpine Resort 2009 was a record breaker for both visitor numbers and accumulated snowfall. Winter started early with a huge snowfall in May. With ideal cool conditions and further snow Cardrona recorded its deepest (317cm) accumulated snowfall in the last decade, in August. Skiers and snowboarders from across both New Zealand and Australia flocked to the slopes in record numbers. Elite athletes used Cardrona’s 22ft Olympic halfpipe, the only one in Australasia, to train and compete in the lead up to the Olympics 2010, with renowned snowboarder Shaun White landing the first back to back double cork 1080 in history during the Burton New Zealand Open.

Snow Park NZ successfully introduced New Zealand's only lift-accessed tobogganing run this season, adding to the wide range of activities on offer including Wanaka’s only night skiing and riding, held on two nights a week throughout the season. The good early snow conditions made for great freeriding on a mountain not traditionally known for freeride terrain. Many national snowboarding teams and top international freestyle skiers trained at Snow Park NZ in preparation for Vancouver.

Treble Cone experienced strong visitor numbers from the start which continued to grow throughout the season. There were plenty of powder days on offer at Treble Cone creating an excellent snow base to last the season. The Spring Fiesta proved to be a hit with the locals attracting big crowds for the live music and great deals. New to the spring calendar were two unique events, the mini MOUNTAIN open and the Triple Comp. Both of the two-day events challenged some of Treble Cone’s best skiers and snowboarders providing a great end of season show.

Snow Farm NZ successfully hosted many overseas teams and cross country competitions. The Snow Farm trails also offer ideal terrain for the running of sled dogs and staged New Zealand Dog Sled Championship in September as well as offering commercial trips.

The region’s event calendar was packed with top-level events for all snow sports athletes. From freestyle skiing and snowboarding, alpine ski racing, cross country and big mountain contests, elite athletes from around the world travelled to compete and entertain the crowds for the inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, the Burton New Zealand Open and the Australia & NZ Continental Cup. 2009 also saw the return of the World Heli Challenge.

Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore is thrilled with the success of the 2009 winter. “The mountains and down town have been buzzing with visitors, from the elite professionals to the recreational skiers and riders enjoying the diverse terrain and snow sports on offer. Good visitor numbers have been reported, particularly from across the Tasman,” he said.

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