Recognition of Sir John Davies $90m ski industry support as PM opens new chairlift

by Peter Newport - Jun 28, 2024

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has praised local business owner Sir John Davies today as the new $23 million Shadow Basin chairlift was opened at the Remarkables Ski Field.

Mr Luxon recognised the $90 million investment that Sir John and the Davies family has made into the local ski industry just in the last decade, with CEO Paul Anderson noting that up to half of the people that are in Queenstown even on peak tourism days are still locals.


The chairs for the estimated $23-million upgrade seat six, rather than four, and move at a faster speed.

Paul Anderson explains the new chairlift comes further down the mountain than its replacement did, closer to where other chairlifts begin.

He reckons this will encourage "more and more blue skiers" and snowboarders to give the Shadow Basin a go.

The now dismantled, 38-year-old Shadow Basin chairlift that used to transport punters was "quite a walk" from the Remarkables base, and Mr Anderson thinks this deterred people from hopping on.

The top station for the new lift sits at a higher elevation than the previous lift, just below the ridge line of Shadow Basin, requiring some new trails to connect up with existing ones. 

Prime Minister Luxon shared the first ride on the new chairlift with Finance Minister Nicola Willis, who Mr Luxon said was the Government's "official skier."

Also on the first chairlift ride was Sir John's son Mike Davies.

Main image: Sir John Davies at today's new chairlift opening - June 28, 2024. Image: Copyright Crux.

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