A group of lifetime pass holders is hoping to crowdfund millions of dollars to keep Mt Ruapehu’s two skifields, Whakapapa and Tūroa, in public hands.
Current operator Ruapehu Alpine Lifts went into voluntary administration in October following a poor season and Covid disruption.
Ruapehu Skifields Stakeholders Association has taken inspiration from the successful campaign to buy Awaroa Beach at the top of the South Island.
About 40,000 people contributed more than $2 million to secure Awaroa – topped up with $350,000 from the government – and it has since been incorporated into Abel National Tasman Park.
Platt said the 14,000 life pass holders would be asked to dig deepest, but they had the most to lose if the skifields closed permanently or were sold off to commercial operators.
“Look from the life pass holders we’re looking to raise anywhere from between $6 million to $10 million.
Clarkson said the government would be required to underwrite rebooting the skifields and skiers would have to be prepared to pay more for lift passes.
Duane Major, who ran the campaign to buy Awaroa, backed the life pass holders’ efforts.
It was understood four groups have made bids for the skifields.
All of Ruapehu Alpine Lift’s creditors, including Life Pass Holders, will vote on a plan for the skifields at a watershed meeting in early May.