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Ski gun info online; free WiFi for Queenstown ski areas

Snow guns blasting at Coronet Peak – Photo credit Miles Holden

Media Release from Coronet Peak

27 June 2012

Coronet Peak ski gun info now online; free WiFi launches for Queenstown ski areas

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area has become the first ski area in New Zealand to add ‘live’ snow gun activity to its website, and along with sister ski area The Remarkables has also launched a free WiFi service.

The new snow gun feature, updated around the clock, carries a graphic of Coronet Peak showing the placement of each and every one of its 213 snow guns, complete with the ability to overlay a trail map onto the image.

At any time of the day or night, users can log in to the system to check up on which snow guns are blasting where, or scroll backwards for a complete 24-hour ‘history’ showing what time they were on and for how long, directly related to the rise or fall in temperatures at different altitudes on the mountain.

A yellow ‘dot’ on the graphic shows that a snow gun is on, while a grey ‘dot’ tells users it is off.

The new snow gun report is designed to complement on-mountain web cams, trail information, base and weather reports loaded daily on http://www.nzski.com/fullReport.jsp?site=coronetpeak

Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said he expected strong public interest in the new snowmaking graphic.

“The questions ‘What are snow conditions like’, ‘Have you been snowmaking’ and ‘If not, why not’ would have to be the most-asked on a daily basis,” he said.

“The new system means our many thousands of keen locals and snow lovers throughout New Zealand or even Australia can check it out for themselves from the comfort of their home sitting in front of their computer or on their laptop, no matter what time of the day or night.

“If they’re here in Queenstown thinking about going up for the day, or considering a winter holiday or weekend break, they can track our snowmaking in detail. They’ll know if the snow guns have been on, which trails have been topped up and what sort of snow they’ll be riding or skiing.

“Sometimes when it’s freezing cold down in Queenstown, because of a weather inversion in the valley it’s not cold enough to make snow on the mountain. The new system clearly demonstrates that.”

Mr Copland said the new graphic reflected the growth of self-education and information gathering through the web.

“We live in a world where the internet is a powerful and well-used tool to gauge weather and other conditions for outdoor sports and leisure,” he said.

Coronet Peak’s multi-million dollar fully-automated snowmaking system has paid dividends in adding to natural snowfalls on the mountain in the build up to opening day and throughout recent seasons.

When the Italian TechnoAlpin guns were purchased in 2008 as part of a large-scale redevelopment at Coronet Peak, it was the largest order ever made. Today it remains the largest system in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most technically sophisticated.

Recognising the rocketing increase in social media usage, free guest WiFi is now also provided at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski areas. The free service is being provided in partnership with Telecom New Zealand to help promote the alpine experience via the many skiers and boarders who create and share content on their devices with friends and family around the world.

“Our guests are having a great time up on the slopes and we wanted to make it easy for them to share their experiences with friends and family at home,” said NZSki sales and marketing manager Craig Douglas.

“Almost everyone has a smartphone these days so they can easily send photos and social media posts to share their story.

“Working with Telecom has opened up high capacity access to their national network which they have been building since last summer.”

ENDS

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