Thousands gather for the opening day of Coronet Peak

Thousands gather for the opening day of Coronet Peak

Around 2500 people from several places gathered for the opening day of Queenstown's Coronet Peak.

Many people said that changes in season pass pricing are encouraging a number of people to arrive at the location. They said that new pricing has increased the level of enthusiasm in the local community and is also attracting new skiers as well as those who haven't involved themselves in the sport for years.

Local residents said that the launch on 11 June is the celebration of the beginning of winter. Around 300 people entered through the gates at 9 am and they were greeted with free breakfast baps, coffee and hot chocolates by the ski area staff while they enjoyed picking up spot prizes.

Ski area manager Ross Copland said that the number of people standing in queue waiting for the gates to open was the longest in the ski area for several years. Some people even spent the night on the deck to become the first ones to enter the area.

Copland said, "We've seen massive support from our local community, partly because so many people and especially families are getting back into skiing, or being introduced to skiing for the first time, thanks to our great season pass prices this year. Opening day's always special because we've put so much effort into it over the previous seven months of preparation, so it's great to finally be here."About the snow, he said that the they are expecting snow down to 600m on Sunday.