New Zealand — After a year of uncertainty, Whakapapa will become the first ski resort in New Zealand to offer lift-serviced skiing this ski season.

On May 31st, Whakapapa Mt. Ruapehu announced that one of its magic carpets will be open for skiing and riding this Saturday and Sunday (June 1st and 2nd). While terrain offerings will be limited, skiers and riders will be able to get some turns in. The carpet will also be open to sledders and sightseers.

The two ski fields on the Mt. Ruapheu stratovolcano, known as Tūroa and Whakapapa, have had a rough stretch. Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, which had operated both ski resorts, entered receivership in 2023 due to a rough stretch of winters and an insurmountable amount of debt. Since then, the New Zealand government bailed out the mountains to keep them operational and attempted to find new operators.

For Tūroa, Pure Tūroa was given a ten-year contract to operate the ski resort. For Whakapapa, a new operator hasn’t been officially determined yet, but they have received a $7 million NZD bailout to operate this winter. Whakapapa is currently being led by Calibre Partners, a receiver company. Ultimately, Tūroa and Whakapapa are now run by separate operators.

What comes next is uncertain, but a snowy winter would help create a brighter future for both ski fields.

Image/Video Credits: Matthew Buchanan (Featured Image), Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu

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