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SAM Magazine—United Kingdom, March 30, 2023—One outcome of the pandemic has been an increasing move by some of the world’s more popular destinations to limit numbers on the slopes and prevent overcrowding.Untitled design 48 North American resorts have been leading the way with this, but now New Zealand’s Cardrona and Treble Cone resorts are joining the movement for winter 2023 "in an effort to improve guest experience on the mountains.”

 “Over the last few years, New Zealand ski areas have seen increased demand from Kiwis and internationals alike, leading to very busy days on the mountains during peak periods, particularly in July and August,” said Laura Hedley, GM of Cardrona and Treble Cone. "Our guests have told us that over the last couple of years, our experience during those peak times hasn’t been where we want it to be. We know that people don’t enjoy struggling to get a carpark or standing in long lift queues.”

Data analysis of skier visits over the last few years has given Cardrona and Treble Cone confidence to manage daily capacities based on how many skiers and snowboarders visit the mountains while using different pass types, a resort statement said.

The resorts will sell the same number of season passes and Earlybird multi-day passes (all purchased pre-season) as in previous years, but in-season single day and multi-day lift ticket sales will be limited. The daily allowance of day and multi-day tickets will reflect the average number of other pass types the resorts expect to see on any given day. Once the daily capacity is reached, ticket sales will be cut off.

The goal for Cardrona is to reduce the number of skiers and snowboarders on the mountain by approximately 1,000 compared to peak days during the pandemic in 2020-2022.

“There will still be busy days on the mountains—if it’s a bluebird powder day and we have more season pass and Earlybird multi-day pass holders than average, we may have more people on the mountain than what we’re aiming for,” said Hedley.

“But we’re serious about making our on-mountain experience better, and we hope this change can help achieve that for our guests and staff.”

Guests who purchase day and multi-day tickets in-season will be asked to choose which days and which mountains they will be visiting. Those who buy their passes early during the pre-winter Unlimited season pass and Earlybird multi-day pass sales will be able to ski and snowboard at both mountains whenever they choose, the statement continued.

Cardrona and Treble Cone are also introducing a new five-day “Flexi” pass, at a higher per-day rate, which can be used on any day of the season, at either mountain.

The resorts are adopting another growing North American practice: dynamic pricing. Guests are encouraged to buy online and early to secure the best pricing.

“We appreciate this is a big shift in approach, and a New Zealand first,” said Hedley. “However, dynamic pricing is widely used overseas to manage numbers on the mountains, and we’ve heard great feedback on the positive impact this approach has on guest experience.

“As with any big change, we’re expecting a few teething issues. So we’re asking for feedback, patience and support from our mountain communities as we get this right this winter.”

This report is based on Patrick Thorne’s “Snow Hunter’s World Weekly Snow Resort News.”