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Huge snow dump delivers epic powder day at Treble Cone

Wanaka’s iconic Treble Cone ski area is revelling in the white stuff, after receiving over 45cms of snow in the last 24 hours.

Snowstorms over the past few days have delivered wall-to-wall coverage across the ski area, with clear skies overhead conditions are shaping up to be “all time”.

General Manager Toby Arnott says the superb snow, fresh powder and blue skies have created the kind of day that TC fans dream of.

“Everyone up here is having a great time,” he says. “There were guests already waiting in line when staff turned up this morning, they were that keen.”

With Australian and New Zealand school holidays in full swing, the timing couldn’t be better.

“Half of Wanaka and all our school holiday visitors are up the mountain today having a whale of a time,” says Toby.

Treble Cone safety teams worked around the clock to ensure their renowned bowls, chutes and natural pipes could be open to riders as early as possible.

“We’ve had no less than 15 ski patrol members out on the mountain this morning undertaking control work. We even called in a helicopter to ensure we could open the Saddle Basin as soon as possible,” says Toby.

The Saddle Basin was cleared by ski patrol and opened by mid-morning.

“We have the highest elevation with the most diverse terrain in the area and when we receive such a huge dump in a short amount of time, avalanche control is essential to guarantee the safety of our staff and guests,” says Toby.

With over 1500 keen skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes at Treble Cone today, the access road has been closed to uphill traffic to assist with car parking and traffic management.

Free shuttle buses are running flat out from the bottom of the access road to transport visitors to the base building.

With all lifts open and a base depth of 95cms in the Home Basin and 130cms in the Saddle Basin, Toby says skiers and snowboarders can enjoy epic, uncrowded conditions across the whole ski area.

“We have 550ha of skiable terrain, even on our busiest of days it’s rare to stand in a lift line or compete for fresh tracks,” says Toby.

“It looks like it’s going to be a hell of a winter.”

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Mt Cook Alpine Salmon appoints Sir Bill English to board

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon has announced the appointment of Sir Bill English to its board of directors, effective August 1 2018.

Board Chairman, the Rt. Hon Jim Bolger says Bill’s profile is obviously well known throughout New Zealand.

“His recent retirement from politics gives him the opportunity to apply his talents and unquestionable belief in New Zealand, helping a fast-growing company like ours realise its potential for the benefit of shareholders and NZ Inc,” he says.

Mr English is delighted to be joining the board of Mount Cook Alpine Salmon.

“I am looking forward to joining a southern company producing a world-class product that is doing extremely well in high-value export markets, and I hope to contribute to its ongoing success,” he says.

Mr Bolger says the continued success of Mt Cook Alpine Salmon depends as much on the performance of the organisation as it does on the product.

“I am confident that Bill’s strong relationships within New Zealand, along with his developed international experience, will prove invaluable as we continue to expand our business,” he says.

“I very much look forward to his contribution.”

About Mt Cook Alpine Salmon

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon operates its aquaculture business in the heart of the Mackenzie district at the foot of the Southern Alps and sells its Freshwater King Salmon to high-end customers around the world including Australia, UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and the US. The company operates two hatcheries; has a primary processing plant in Timaru along with a secondary plant in Christchurch where it produces its popular Aoraki smoked brand. The company employs 175 staff.

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Ray White Queenstown celebrates re-opening following car incident

Two months after a car ploughed into their real estate showroom, Ray White Queenstown owners Bas Smith and Cam Reed have finally re-opened the doors.

The ground-level office and showroom in Church Street was extensively damaged when a local worker finishing a night shift accidentally drove into the building around daybreak on April 19.

Staff and agents who used to use the downstairs space were relocated to upstairs offices while re-building and renovation work was completed.

The space now has a new, modern look and feel including a lounge area, and upstairs areas have been remodelled to enable staff to remain there.

The new-look showroom opened as Bas and Cam celebrate ten years operating the Ray White franchise in Queenstown, and Ray White marked the 25th anniversary of its presence in New Zealand with an Auckland celebration in late May.

“We’ve always been in Church Street, and as the town has grown we’re thrilled to be in such a vibrant area which is fast becoming the lynchpin of downtown,” says Cam.

“When we started ten years ago it was just the two of us, and now we’re an efficient, cohesive team of 15 agents and staff.

“Bas and I made a decision when we opened up that we would commit to the town and our business and we’ve certainly seen plenty of change in the past decade.

“We’ve raised our families here and we’re proud to support local community groups that mirror our own family values as well as those held by Ray White, which has had four generations of the White family at the helm over its 115-year history in Australasia.

“When the car smashed into our premises, our only reaction was one of relief that neither the driver or any of our staff were injured.

“As a result we’ve finally got a new showroom that’s bigger, better and brighter than ever before, showcasing our listings to visitors and passers-by and complementing the online and social media sales and marketing work carried out by our team.”

There are over 1100 Ray White offices in Australasia including over 165 in New Zealand. Ray White has a national market share of close to 20%, and local strength in Southern Lakes with offices in Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Te Anau.

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Queenstown offers coolest winter holiday escapes

The snow has blanketed Queenstown peaks and the coolest winter escapes are out there for snow lovers of any age, stage and ability.

Queenstown’s a mecca for skiers and snowboarders for a host of reasons, not least that its four closest ski areas deliver a wide range of terrain to suit everyone from beginners to black-diamond experts, ensuring hands-down the best winter holiday experience in the Southern hemisphere.

With school holidays in mind and some of the best early season snow conditions on record, one of New Zealand’s best ski hotels has come up with a full-service approach to taking the hassle out of family winter holidays.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s IHG winter sale ends on July 9 2018 so buyers need to get in quick, although the deal’s valid for stays until the end of October.

The winter sale package is ideal for hungry skiers who can fuel up for the day ahead with a free breakfast, while also saving up to 20% on accommodation.

With the winter package valid until the end of the ski season, a spring skiing trip is also on the cards for those who can’t make it these school holidays.

Queenstown is so compact it’s the perfect spot for a ski holiday. Visitors can be catching some big air in the morning and playing nine holes of golf or sipping on a world-renowned Pinot Noir in the afternoon.

Coronet Peak is perfect for First Tracks – skiing over sweet lines left by the overnight grooming team as the sun rises over the mountain. It’s also the only resort in the South Island with night skiing, meaning guests can enjoy Queenstown adventures during the day, head up in the afternoon to catch the sunset and experience the magic of ‘cheeky’ night ski sessions on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday nights.

Simply put, The Remarkables is just remarkable, for its great on and off-piste options accessed by the new Curvey Basin chair among others. Locals love to stop for a drink at the Ice Bar (halfway down the chairlift) where amazing views make it a great spot for must-have Instagram photos or just to have a beer.

Head ‘over the hill’ towards Wanaka and in less than an hour guests can be sampling the wide-open bowls of family-friendly Cardrona ski resort or having fun sampling classic and ski skating or snowshoeing at Snow Farm, New Zealand’s only Nordic ski area.

At the end of a day of winter fun, Crowne Plaza Queenstown invites guests to kick off skis and boots in their dedicated heated ski locker, relax with a mulled wine or cocktail and settle in for dinner at threesixty restaurant, taking their pick from a hearty new winter menu.

Over the school holidays, some guests just might be surprised with vouchers for hot chocolates at the world-renowned Patagonia Chocolates, or passes to go ice skating at the Queenstown Ice Arena.

If there’s one thing hotel guests rave about, it’s Crowne Plaza’s central location, perched on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with sweeping mountain views and yet less than a minute’s stroll to Queenstown’s bustling main streets.

Back at the hotel, the concierge team has the best advice going to help guests explore Queenstown like a local, and it’s Queenstown Winter Guide has plenty of inspiration for non-skiers too.

Ski shuttle buses stop right outside the hotel front door and daily snow reports keep guests up to speed with conditions throughout the day (and night!).

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