June 18, 2018
Luxury gondolas a Ruapehu draw
A Ngāti Tūwharetoa-backed plan for a luxury gondola up Mount Ruapehu has secured a $10 million loan from the provincial growth fund.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says financial commitments from the iwi and the Ruapehu and Taupo district councils was a critical element in gaining central government funds.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts chief executive Ross Copland says the gondola will travel 1.8 kilometres over the Whakapapa Ski Area through one of the North Island’s most rugged and spectacular landscapes past waterfalls and snow-laden peaks.
The 10-person cabins will feature floor to ceiling glass, internal ski racks, wi-fi, audio and lighting and individual leather seats.
Predictions are the $25 million gondola will attract at least 300,000 visitors a year to Ruapehu, create 137 full-time jobs and an additional $50m a year in visitor spending.
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