Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones will make an announcement at the Powderhorn Chateau in Ohakune this morning regarding the Government’s input towards Ruapehu’s $25 million gondola project.
“It’s a commercial partnership, not a straight grant,” his office said. “It’s a key project in the regional action plan, Manawatu-Whanganui Accelerate 25, a key investment priority for the region.
“The economic indicators for the region are compelling with the new gondola expected to contribute $50 million per annum of additional expenditure, and an additional 137 fulltime jobs at Whakapapa in the restaurants, maintenance, sales, retail and transport teams.”
The gondola will run 1.8km, rising from a new base terminal – beside the cafe at the Top of the Bruce Rd – to a new top terminal beside the Knoll Ridge cafe. The Waterfall chairlift, which runs from the near the top of the Rangatira chairlift to beside the Knoll cafe, will be removed.
The new system will have 50 gondola cabins, each with space for 10 passengers.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts intends to install the gondola at Whakapapa ski area between the end of this winter/spring season and the start of next year’s.