Ground breaks on The Remarkables new Sugar Bowl chairlift for 2020

It may be a year later than expected but The Remarkables will definitely have that Sugar Bowl chairlift for next year with ground breaking on the installation last week.

Challenging conditions greeted workers as they started the first steps for constructing the new 6-seat Express Sugar Bowl Chairlift at The Remarkables Ski Area.

Part of a $17 million project, The Doppelmayr D-line high-speed chairlift is the first of its kind in New Zealand bringing a new generation of chairlift design and technology to the country’s ski industry.

The six seater chairlift will have a vertical rise of 258 metres and take four minutes from bottom to top with a capacity to carry 2400 passengers per hour. 

The Remarkables Ski Area Manager Ross Lawrence says he’s excited the project is underway and that guests will be able to take advantage of new terrain and faster laps next season.  

“We’ve moved the location of the Sugar Bowl lift creating a new pathway up the mountain and opening up access to 2.5kms of brand-new trails and the existing terrain parks.  

“The new lift will take guests from the base area and drop them off at the top of the terrain parks in just four minutes. It will also open a range of new terrain within the ski area that was previously tricky to access. It’s a whole new side of the mountain to explore.”

NZSki CEO Paul Anderson says the lift is coming at the perfect time after record numbers at The Remarkables this year.

A render of the chairlift terminal

“This development is another step in our plans to keep up with demand and growth, and a key milestone in our ongoing commitment to offer world-class facilities for our guests.”

Following this major upgrade, The Remarkables will hopefully still look to replace the Shadow Basin chairlift with a new high-speed lift as talked about last year. They’ve always been open about the need to expand the ski area into The Doolans and will continue to talk with DOC about how they can make this terrain available.

This would increase the skiable terrain of The Remarkables significantly with a trail network developed in what is undoubtedly some of the region’s best terrain.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.