Accommodation pressures eased

Mt Hutt Ski Area manager James Mckenzie in front of new cabins for ski crews.
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The ski season is fast approaching and one of the problems evident was the lack of accommodation available in the Methven area.

Mt Hutt research showed some of the houses that have been available to staff in previous years are not this time around.

Accompanied by daily posts on Facebook of people desperately searching for somewhere to stay, mountain hierarchy had to find a solution.

This prompted a relatively late project to devise a fair amount of housing to be made available to allow the necessary number of mountainstaff to operate harmoniously.

Twenty two accommodation pods have been leased and secured round the back of the Mt Hutt’s Methven office on Main Street, with a further four more across at the Abisko Lodge and apartments area.

The cabins are 2.5 metres by four metres in size, to allow space for a queen size bed, wardrobe, bedside table, kitchenette and room for a desk. It will bea bit like a dormitory with a communal lounge area, unisex toilets and seven showers available. The project started three months ago, and Ashburton District Council have been heavily involved in supporting and giving permission to set up the accommodation pods.

Bradford Building were brought in to oversee the project and Aotea Electric, along with Scott Gundry plumbing, handled the servicing and facilities part of it.

They were constructed by Mizin Cabins, logistics manager Cody McCallum, facilitated the project delivering cabins to the Methven site over the last two months.

Some of the cabins will be shared, making it close to around 30 members of staff who will stay there, with further eight in the Abisko area.

All the accommodation has been allocated to staff on a first come first served bases, when they were initially advertised.

The first residents will be arriving just as construction has been completed.

Mt Hutt Ski Area manager James McKenzie is delighted they have been able to achieve such a critical project in such a short space of time.

“A quick decision had to be made to solve the housing problem and this will ease the pressure in a massive way.

“I don’t think there was any more we could have done.

“It’s a reasonable investment for the mountain and the cabins will be removed in the summer, which will free up space for other important things. Overall, this is a good model for us moving forward.”

Next on the agenda for Mt Hutt is the commission of a big snow making project starting this week, to substantially improve the ski fields readiness for the mountain’s open day on June 9.