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Mt Ruapehu On A High After Bumper Season

For immediate release
31 March 2005

MT RUAPEHU ON A HIGH AFTER BUMPER SEASON

--Cheap season passes and $6m in mountain developments ready for winter--

Mt Ruapehu is looking forward to the upcoming winter following the 2004 season which saw the mountain enjoy the best snow conditions in 10 years.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), operators of Mt Ruapehu, have invested heavily in new developments on the mountain, including 400 additional carpark spaces and a completely renovated customer services area at Turoa. Whakapapa has significant new snowmaking facilities, including 1.2km of snowmaking pipeline, and access roads to the mountain on both sides have been upgraded to reduce traffic congestion.

Mike Smith, Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager, says together with last year's bumper ski season and the new developments on the mountain, winter looks highly promising and now's the perfect time to purchase a new season pass.

"We're coming off a huge 2004 season. We had the highest skier numbers at Whakapapa in 10 years and a record season at Turoa, and supreme snow conditions right up until January when we re--opened for summer skiing between the December and New Year holidays," says Mr Smith. "We've spent $6m this year on improving facilities to ensure the mountain is more accessible for customers."

"As well as the new developments, we are again offering our convenient and cheap season passes for snow enthusiasts. Last year season pass holders really made the most of their passes throughout the winter which was great to see."

Available for purchase from 1 April until the end of the month, Mt Ruapehu season passes cost only $329 for adults, $279 for students and $189 for youths aged 16 years and under. For those who miss out, from 1 May passes for adults will be $649, students $559 and youths $359.

Each season pass purchased online at www.mtruapehu.com will be discounted by $10 making the season pass even more affordable.

"Purchasing the passes online certainly represents significant savings, especially for families. If a family of four purchases season passes they will save $40," says Mr Smith. "The website's also a great tool to use to find out what's happening on the mountain, or in the Ruapehu region."

Mr Smith says the ski area has never looked better and with the many other events on the calendar this season, Mt Ruapehu is truly a world class winter destination.

"Not only does Mt Ruapehu offer a fabulous skiing and snowboarding venue, there are also a great line--up of events happening throughout the season including the Ohakune Mardi Gras and Mt Ruapehu Spring Festival. It's going to be a great season," says Mr Smith.

Mt Ruapehu season passes are great value for money, with Adult All--Lifts Day Pass at Mt Ruapehu priced at $72 per day, an adult's season pass will cover its entire cost in just four and a half days on the mountain, or just over two weekends on the slopes.

To order season passes visit www.mtruapehu.com, or phone 0508 Ruapehu (782 734) from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday throughout April 2005.

ENDS


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