Ruapehu Alpine Lifts refund offer leaves some Auckland skiers stranded cold


Auckland skiers fearful of spending the remainder of the ski season in Auckland lockdown say they are frustrated at only being offered a 50% refund of their season passes by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday it was likely that Auckland’s strict border restrictions would remain even at Level 2. This would mean Aucklanders would not be able to travel to other parts of the country for vacations.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, the company that runs the Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas, has offered all season pass holders who have spent four days or less on the mountain this season a 50% refund.

But Auckland skier Keith Drake said it wasn’t enough.

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Drake bought a season pass for $ 500 and was stranded in Auckland for most of the season.

He said he had visited the mountain every winter for most of his life.

The lockdown has kept the Aucklanders from hitting the Mount Ruapehu ski slopes for much of this season.

Provided

The lockdown has kept the Aucklanders from hitting the Mount Ruapehu ski slopes for much of this season.

“I thought it was a bit on the nose because I can’t use it at all,” Drake said.

“They do a great job of showing people around the mountain and the staff are friendly and helpful. I just feel like in this case we’re disappointed because we don’t have the option to use what we paid for, ”said Drake.

Snowboarder Luke Dimick was also disappointed.

“I think it’s pretty poor. It’s only $ 320 to $ 480 of snowboarding in the season pass that costs over $ 600, ”Dimick said.

Dimick said the lockdown meant he couldn’t make it to the snow this season and would be reluctant to purchase another season pass due to the refund situation.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts general manager Jono Dean said it was difficult to plan a reimbursement program when the government had not been clear on what would happen with the Auckland limits.

Keith Drake, who has skied at Ruapehu for most of his life, says he feels disappointed with Ruapehu Alpine Lifts' refund policy.

Provided

Keith Drake, who has skied at Ruapehu for most of his life, says he feels disappointed with Ruapehu Alpine Lifts’ refund policy.

The Prime Minister said the Auckland border would likely be retained, “but we have no further information so I cannot comment on that at this point,” Dean said.

Dean said there had been a significant opportunity for Auckland to use the first half of the season in the 45 days before the lockdown began.

Most of the comments regarding the 50 percent refund for season pass holders have been positive, he said.

Dean said if conditions allowed, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts plan to extend the snow season until November.

At NZ Ski, which operates Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt ski areas, general manager Paul Anderson said skiers are offered “pass protection” when purchasing season passes.

This allowed customers to request a credit or refund if they couldn’t use their pass.

Refunds had to be requested by August 31.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts claimed $ 1.77 million in the 2021 wage subsidy. NZSki claimed nearly $ 3.18 million.

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