18 Sep 2020

New chair lift for Mt Hutt ski field

7:23 am on 18 September 2020

Skiers at Mt Hutt will be able to get to the top of the mountain nearly three times faster when a new chair lift is installed next year.

Snow on Mt Hutt, where access to the skifield was cut off to vehicles other than snowmobiles.

The Mt Hutt ski field. Photo: Supplied / James McKenzie

The South Island ski field will be the first in the country to have an eight-person chairlift - called the Nor'west Express.

It will cut the journey time to the top from seven minutes to two minutes and has capacity for 3000 people an hour.

NZSki spokesperson Paul Anderson said the ski area has seen sustained growth over the past five years and the investment is part of a long term commitment to Mt Hutt and the ski industry.

"We are thrilled to be making this investment for Mt Hutt and our loyal community of skiers and snowboarders.

"Our ongoing investments across our three ski areas are key to ensure we provide our guests with world-class experiences and the latest innovations in technology and safety," Anderson said.

Each chair weighs a tonne and feature padded seats, a foot rest and loading carpet with access gates.

Anderson said the new lift will also be able to operate in stronger winds which in turn will reduce closed days.

Installation of the new lift is expected to start the end of October.

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