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NZ's Single Largest Ski Area Investment Ever

10 March 2006

Mt Ruapehu Announces NZ's Single Largest Ski Area Investment Ever

-Development plans in excess of $30m-

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), operators of Mt Ruapehu Ski Areas, announced yesteday that it will be investing more than $30m over the next two years into upgrading the mountain's facilities.

This financial commitment is New Zealand's single largest ski area investment ever, and includes three new high speed chairlifts and a major snowmaking upgrade at Turoa

To assist with funding this development, Mt Ruapehu is offering ski and snowboard enthusiasts an opportunity to purchase limited edition Mt Ruapehu Life Passes. RAL expects the Life Pass offer will be extremely popular and, with only 7,000 passes available, RAL believes total sales will be achieved relatively quickly.

Life Passes are priced at $3,875 each and go on sale from 13 March 2006. The passes can be purchased online at www.mtruapehu.com or by phoning 0508 Ruapehu (782 734). Mt Ruapehu is also offering a Life Plus Pass for $4,995, which can be transferred to another person before June 2016. Finance options with 12, 24 or 36 month terms are also available.

Mt Ruapehu marketing manager, Mike Smith, says the Life Pass offer will help raise much of the capital required for this significant investment of more than $30m.

"Ruapehu Alpine Lifts' constitution requires that all profits generated go directly into upgrading the mountain's facilities," says Mr Smith. "In the last five years since RAL purchased the Turoa Ski Resort, we've reinvested more than $15m into the facilities on both sides of the mountain ? from improving car parks, through to upgrading snowmaking facilities.

"The additional $30m investment, to occur over the next two years, will be New Zealand's single largest ski area investment ever. In conjunction with the development already undertaken in recent years, the new chairlifts will definitely have Mt Ruapehu well on the way to providing world class facilities well suited to the mountain's natural terrain."

Installation requires the normal consultation and consent processes to be undertaken. RAL is required to maintain an up-to-date five year indicative development plan which is regularly communicated to stakeholders and affected parties. The proposed developments have been in the plan for several years. RAL has been involved in detailed discussions with the Department of Conservation (DoC), and over the coming months other parties will be actively involved in the consultation process with RAL.

The new high speed chairlifts will be located on both sides of Mt Ruapehu. The 1.4km six seat High Noon Express on Turoa will be able to transport more than 3,200 people per hour, and have a top speed of 5 metres per second.

The six seat Valley Express (1.05km) and four seat Tennants Express (900m) chairlifts at Whakapapa will transport 3,200 and 2,800 people per hour respectively, and also have a top speed of 5 metres per second.

The high speed chairlifts will significantly reduce travel time up the mountain allowing more time for skiers and boarders to enjoy the ski area trails.

Mr Smith says the Life Pass is also a perfect gift for someone who's a keen skier or snowboarder, as they will then be able to ski for free at both Whakapapa, and Turoa ski areas, over their lifetime.

"Purchasing a Life Pass for others really is giving someone the gift of a lifetime. There's no better present for someone that enjoys visiting the mountain," says Mr Smith.

For those wanting unlimited skiing for just 2006, Mt Ruapehu Season Passes will also be available for purchase during the month of April 2006. Season passes for adults are $349, students $299 and youths $199.

All Life Passes can be purchased at www.mtruapehu.com, or phone 0508 Ruapehu (782 734) from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday from 13 March 2006. Season passes can be purchased from 1 ? 30 April 2006.

ENDS


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