Full statement: https://bit.ly/ral-update
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, which operates the Whakapapa and Tūroa skifields in the central North Island has gone into voluntary administration.
The move, announced on Tuesday afternoon, comes after a horror season which saw early closures as snow stayed stubbornly away from the skifields.
In a statement, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts said John Fisk and Richard Nacey, of PwC, were appointed voluntary administrators following a resolution of the company’s directors. Companies in financial distress can voluntarily put themselves into administration if they believe the outcome will be better for creditors.
The company employs about 196 staff across the Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas.
Voluntary administrator John Fisk said the business had faced tough times.
“The company has had a very difficult last three years, with the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, paired with poor weather this season, meaning that the business has been placed under significant cash flow pressure.”
He said directors had looked at options including a capital raise and a request for additional Crown funding, but had not been able to secure the required level of capital.
The Voluntary Administrators would continue to trade the business while looking to “determine the most appropriate way forward to maximise recoveries for creditors.”
An initial report on the financial state of the company would be tabled at the first meeting of creditors.
The company said on social media that Whakapapa will continue to operate as planned, weather permitting, through to season close, which was estimated for October 24.
The three T bars – Valley, Knoll, and Far West – will be running, along with the Sky Waka gondola for access and sightseeing.
Since opening on July 8, the mountain has suffered from a lack of snow, with much of it washed away by rain soon after landing on its slopes, leading some to say it was the worst ski season in decades.
In late August, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts said about a third of its 405 staff on the mountain had lost their jobs due to a lack of both snow and visitors on Mt Ruapehu’s skifields.
Tūroa skifield was closed “until further notice” at the time, but was reopened after a large dumping of snow earlier this month.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts soon after said forecasts were unlikely to replenish the ski fields and the decision was made to close Tūroa on Sunday, October 9.
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