Queenstown ski field Coronet Peak is amping up the snow magic opening a new interactive experience The Ice Slides by Ice Castles.
The attraction by Utah-based Ice Castles features tunnel slides, turrets, peep holes and a large throne that have been created by professional ice artisans, including an award-winning ice carver. The team has hand placed thousands of icicles and ice blocks each day since construction began in June to create the 4000-ton structure.
Guests will be able to race down winding slides encased entirely in ice and get those all-important photos perched on a frozen throne. The ice is illuminated at night with colour-changing LED lights which will add to the magic of Coronet Peak’s night skiing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Nigel Kerr, Coronet Peak Ski Area Manager, says the experience is all about sharing the magic of winter, especially with those who don’t ski or snowboard.
“The changing country-of-origin mix of New Zealand tourism means more people are attuned to sightseeing all year round, summer or winter. This is part of moving our product mix to appeal to them as well as our regular pass holders who will love the surprise.”
Coronet Peak is only a 20 minute drive from downtown Queenstown making it the most popular sightseeing ski field in the region.
Made entirely of frozen water, the giant structure at Coronet Peak has taken 52 days to build.
Ice Castles CEO Ryan Davis said the icy attraction was the first for New Zealand.
“We love being able to bring our experience to the Southern Hemisphere. Our team is all about giving more people around the world another way to enjoy the outdoors together, make memories, and freeze time with their loved ones.”
The team has had its challenges, says Davis.
“Instead of a castle, we built something equally interactive and exciting. Ice slides, especially when you can race each other, are hugely popular, so we’re delighted with the result.”
The prices are $35 for 12+, $29 for 6-11, and 5 and under are free. Ticket sales are now available to purchase at http://icecastles.com/new-zealand, or with Coronet Peak guest services.
The light display will operate on Coronet Peak’s night ski evenings, running on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from late July.
About Coronet Peak, Queenstown
The closest ski field to Queenstown is Coronet Peak. This local haunt is an easy 25-minute drive from downtown Queenstown, and a favourite with locals and visitors for its proximity and ever developing skiing attractions.
Easy road access, modern facilities, rolling off-piste terrain and an impressive 213 snow guns have helped Coronet Peak become a world-class ski area. The Park after Dark area gives freestyle skiers/riders the chance to let loose on boxes, rails and airbags.
Visitors to Coronet Peak can experience Queenstown from a different perspective as it is the only mountain that offers night skiing (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights). At the other end of the day, Coronet Peak’s ‘First Tracks’ lets early rising ski-bunnies experience the mountain before official opening time.