Soho Basin Ski Resort

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by ScottGN, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us
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    Our newest ski area's up on Facebook. Though it seems we don't have ski areas or ski fields anymore we have 'resorts'. Some pics from facebook
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Too crowded.
     
  3. zhenjie

    zhenjie Hard Yards

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    interesting! details!?
     
  4. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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    Making some sense of it:


    Skifields jockeying to stitch up slopes

    There's no business like snow business for apres-ski season speculation, and as Otago Daily Times Wanaka bureau chief Mark Price reports, this year has begun with a blizzard of ideas about what's going on in the Cardrona Valley.


    The Soho Basin above the Cardrona Valley is renowned by skiers who have been there for the quality of its snow and terrain.

    However, without a chairlift and a proper access road from the Cardrona Valley, it has so far remained relatively undisturbed.

    The Cardrona Alpine Resort next door is a complete contrast.

    It is one of the two most profitable skifields in the country, and last winter it was so busy, on at least one day skiers were turned away.

    Queenstown developer John Darby holds the rights to develop the Soho Basin for skiing and he has recently obtained resource consent for a high-speed chairlift that would carry skiers 1.2km from the bottom of the basin to the top, at a point also near the top of the neighbouring Cardrona resort.

    The speculation is over what will happen next, and why anything is happening at all.

    The Otago Daily Times has attempted to speak directly with Mr Darby, but without success.

    However, industry insiders have been joining up the dots and, broadly, this is how they see it:The owner of the Cardrona ski resort is Real Journeys - a private, New Zealand-owned tourism company with many profitable strings to its bow.

    It is new to the snow business, but is recognised as a highly competent player that knows how to compete for business.

    In the case of Cardrona, the new competition is from the Remarkables Ski Area owned by John Davies through his Trojan Holdings and NZSki companies.

    Mr Davies, is spending $45 million at the Remarkables making it more attractive to intermediate skiers, family groups and those on package tours - the bread and butter of Cardrona's business.

    And, with the sealing of its access road, the Remarkables will have even greater appeal to overseas tourists who balk at gravel roads.

    Real Journeys will be aware of the need to retain its position and that is where insiders suggest Mr Darby has quite an asset in the Soho Basin skifield rights, complete with consent for a chairlift.

    In the consent documents, the basin looks perfectly placed to be an extension of Cardrona and its full range of skifield infrastructure - access road, electricity, machinery, base buildings, management etc.

    Not surprisingly, the Soho Basin has been part of Cardrona's long-term expansion plan all the way back to the 1980s.

    But it is Mr Darby who owns the rights to the basin, and he now has another important card up his sleeve.

    About a year ago, he spent several million dollars buying 2000ha of land off Cardrona Valley farmer Tim Scurr.

    That provides him with some fairly expensive grazing land but far more importantly, it provides him with the all-important direct access between the snow of the Soho Basin and the skiers using the Cardrona Valley road.

    If things do not work out with Real Journeys, insiders say, Mr Darby could go it alone.

    One described that as Mr Darby's ''leverage'' in negotiations with Real Journeys over developing the Soho Basin.

    The ODT has been told installing the high-speed, six-person chairlift in the basin would leave little change from $10 million.

    The cost of creating a new, stand-alone skifield from scratch would be considerably more than that.

    But, with Chinese tourists' growing enthusiasm for skiing, there is the prospect of a huge new market for the industry here.

    And that could help make a new skifield, close to Queenstown Airport with reliable snow and a good range of terrain an attractive investment.

    As for international skiers being unenthusiastic about gravel access roads, the solution being talked about in the Cardrona Valley is for a gondola from the valley floor to the Soho Basin.

    Even if the basin was to become an extension of Cardrona, rather than a stand-alone field, a gondola would ease pressure on Cardrona's access road and car parking space.

    Industry insiders note the old hand - NZSki - has played its Remarkables card; rookie Real Journeys is considering its first big play of the game and Mr Darby holds the ace of Soho.

    Real Journeys chief executive Richard Lauder has been visiting Chinese skifields this month and has yet to respond to ODTrequests for an interview.

    No-one spoken to considered more skifield development a bad thing for the region, overall.

    However, it has been noted that while all the political rhetoric is about harmony between tourist town rivals Wanaka and Queenstown, the ski industry battle lines clearly pit one side of the Crown Range against the other.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/331851/skifields-jockeying-stitch-slopes
     
  5. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Oh its offical now. yeah, if you read the thread called "Cat skiiing... Cardrona?!" You can read about it.

    As ive been working on it.... It will operate as cat skiing this year. The Buildings are there and in place. There is a seperate road being built up to it at present. but it wont be operating for this winter. Also this road is on Soho owned land, not on Mt Cardrona station like the cardrona road which is not owned nor operated by them..
    Also of note that isnt presented in that article.
    Darby owns majority of TC.
    This year is the first time you can get a joint flexi pass between cardies and TC.
     
  6. almontyrat

    almontyrat Addicted
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    I like the top picture especially as it appears to be a telemarker making use of that beautiful snow. :thumbs:
     
  7. Toto Warmlet

    Toto Warmlet One of Us

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    This is all that's on offer?
     
  8. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Funny place NZ - lots of snow & mountains but most of the readily-developed areas seemed to be owned by or leased to farmers. Lucky farmers eh?
     
  9. Andy Breaking Trail

    Andy Breaking Trail Early Days

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    Soho looks great, need more places like it.
     
  10. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Addicted

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    www.sohobasin.co.nz/#scroll-public-access

    " SSAL intends to exercise a degree of management of the area and access to it,

    Each person registering will be required to make a donation of $5 to Lakes District Air Rescue Trust (LDART). This can be dropped in the honesty box at Soho Basin Base."
     
  11. expatgm

    expatgm Hard Yards
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    I like the undiscovered for 85 years bit. Pity it's on private land.
     
  12. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Why pity its on private land??
     
  13. expatgm

    expatgm Hard Yards
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    Private land means right of access is held by the land owner so today they may give you access to their land and tomorrow they are within their rights to deny that access for any reason they choose simply because they own the land.
    Same applies to my house and land.
     
  14. expatgm

    expatgm Hard Yards
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    I'm sure you would agree as we both love bc terrain the last thing you want is anyone telling you where you can or can't ski/board.
     
  15. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Doesnt sound any different to what is happening at coronet peak...

    I know for a fact that the land owner was down there on saturday and saw who was using the area and was happy they were out enjoying themselves.
    I think its the actions of those who access the land that will speak the loudest, make wise choices and follow the guidelines to ensure that access is continued to be allowed etc
     
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  16. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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    There is so so so so soooooooooooooooooooooo much skiable terrain in NZ that is not private land, these issues should really become moot.

    No, we don't have a lot of super accessible (roadside or road-end) touring in NZ, and this has led to reliance for some on privately owned but easy to access zones. I think a lot of people have been a bit naive and taken the goodwill that has been extended for many years for granted. Tenure review has simplified some situations, and complicated others.

    Out of interest, are you from NZ originally?

    All these people get up in arms about the likes of what's going on at Soho, but they never seem to go and ski zones like Bowen Peak.
     
  17. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Which is looking ****ing unbelievable at the moment!
     
  18. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Is Soho the name of the station?
     
  19. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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    It was the original name of the pastoral lease, yeah, named for the creek which runs into the Arrow River.
     
  20. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah fair enough ...
    some stations do have some wacky names , especially post gold rush times...
     
  21. expatgm

    expatgm Hard Yards
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    .
    Some of these people also ride their mtb up matukituki valley to aspiring hut then hoof it up to French ridge and go skiing up there. Among other places which I have no intention of discussing here.
    In answer to your question no I'm not originally from NZ . I will have been living here 14 years April 19 2015.
     
  22. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Ha funny, Darryl and the crew from Small Planet were up Bowen Peak the other day and it looked magic.
     
  23. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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    It's a fantastic spot.
     
  24. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    I can assure you that any half competent lawyer could stitch up access for as long as you want.
     
  25. RichardP

    RichardP Hard Yards

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    DRAIZUH or anyone else in the know, what do you have on the chairlift construction schedule.... from the application in august RM150677 implies the chair could be coming sooner rather than later....

    "Access into the Soho Basin in preparation for the chair lift construction has also been constructed with the chair lift itself scheduled to commence construction this summer also."
     
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  26. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    It wont be in for this summer due to constraints with power access. Either cardrona didnt want to share or the 3 phase feed didnt have enough juice. It will run as a cat skiing area this season coming however they are currently doing a very very large amount of trail shaping for the cat access roads which will double up as pistes once the chair is in and will also be used for future construction in the area. The Access road from the cardrona valley is still pushing ahead, the main road is cut and i believe its been widen and shaped now.
     
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  27. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty

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    It's impossible to believe that Cardrona and Soho/Willow won't combine in some way, afterall we now have Perisher Blue being the accumulation of Perisher/ Smiggins/ Blue Cow/ and Guthega
    But that did take 50 years to happen!
    The apparent bloody mindedness of most ski resort managements doesn't leave me with huge hope of seeing it antime soon though
     
  28. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    I dont think its an unwillingness i think its more not the right time right place. There is still room for expansion at cardrona and i believe they will continue to expand. Cardrona is the most progressive resort in NZ IMO and suprisingly enough, NZski are taking notice and they are changing aswell..
     
  29. RichardP

    RichardP Hard Yards

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    and is the access road currently being built going to be to help build the gondola ;) ??
     
  30. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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    Historically, cardies were a bit random - look at the over-proliferation of food outlets on that mountain, are there still like 6 places to get a feed? While they were Oz owned it definitely got a bit strip mall like up there.

    That said, Real Journeys are very smart operators, and I suspect they will be doing a very thorough job of taking stock and planning for the future.
     
  31. RichardP

    RichardP Hard Yards

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    Selling pies and chips is a very profitably side venture, given that the cafes are always full. But I agree that Real Journeys do appear to be sharp operators. Hoping for a long and strong future in the industry
     
  32. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    thats what ive heard yep.

    Yeah RJ's arent stupid. they have plenty of cash and some good businesses.
     
  33. RichardP

    RichardP Hard Yards

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    Its quiet funny looking at the old cardrona consent for soho/willow basin, lift line of the current consent mirrors that of the 1990s consent. the boffa miskell documentation is very consistent in the original and the current darby proposal.

    Even back then a big aspect was the power supply, but id figure with the cardrona valley feed and snow park no longer drawing off it there should be surplus for any proposed developments...

    I really like the fact that one of the original hand drawn concept of the 90s application appears to have 2 additional lifts, one in the willow basin.

    We can but dream that with a little time it is all nicely aligned.
     
  34. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Haha, Well they have to start somewhere... Im fairly certain willow is on the cards too.
     
  35. RichardP

    RichardP Hard Yards

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  36. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Not much, just know its happening. it will be on the cardrona side of the valley i imagine as all the high altitude stuff is technically lease hold, but darby does own a large land parcel from the valley floor to the side of the ski area which is where the road is being built and where the gondola will go. It will mostly be highend and very spendy, the properties which he is involved in on that website are all quite expensive.
     
  37. N0frilz

    N0frilz Hard Yards

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    two years on and what has happened?
     
  38. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Last i heard they were happy keeping it as a cat ski op for now. I believe they got some new cats??
     
  39. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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  40. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Whoa, bigger than I thought.
     
  41. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    ScottGN and Red_switch like this.
  42. Red_switch

    Red_switch Part of the Furniture
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    Still dunno why you'd wanna live up the cardrona valley.
     
  43. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    yeah ..i guess if there is a golf course?
     
  44. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Looks like the village will be based around the pub.
    That kinda ruins it a bit
     
  45. dan72

    dan72 Early Days

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    The pic I saw wasnt around the pub, it was further up the road next to ski field access road.
     
  46. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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  47. dan72

    dan72 Early Days

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  48. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Its 2km north of the pub. its near the whisky distillery.
     
  49. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    We looked at it for a while. The waterbourne disease and toxic river algae put me off..
     
  50. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Bugger all sun too.