The Naylors of Christchurch are one of many Cantabrian families all set for a bunch of winter fun at Mt Hutt ski area after buying Early Bird season passes at what they describe as "excellent" prices.
A heavily discounted youth season pass price, and the new '10 and under' ride-the-lift for free initiative has made skiing and snowboarding a lot more affordable for families.
Snowsports lovers have just one week left to purchase their 2012 season pass for Mt Hutt at Early Bird pricing.
Richard Naylor owns Snowride Sports in Christchurch and said he had armed his family of six with passes for the first time ever. He and wife Yvonne have four children; Alexia aged 15, 11-year-old Zarek, and 9-year-old twins Beatrice and Scarlett.
"What swayed us this year was the fact that children aged 10 and under ski for free this year. That meant we didn't need passes for the younger two, could buy youth passes for the older children, and adult passes for Yvonne and myself, with the entire bill coming to $1996 for a whole winter season of fun for six people.
"Four of us also benefit from mypass rewards worth a total of $320 being loaded on our season passes, which will help keep our costs down on the mountain."
The mypass rewards are valid for those who have previously held season passes in 2010 or 2011. Crunching those numbers and working out the savings on what it would have cost last year was a big incentive for the family, said Mr Naylor.
"I've been skiing at Mt Hutt for over 20 years and my kids have been on skis since they were at least four or five.
"The social side of skiing is very big for us. We'll be up the mountain with lots of other families," he said.
"There are lots of people coming into my shop with similar aged children who say they'll be back skiing at Mt Hutt because of the pricing this year. It's just the excuse they needed. It will be fantastic for us to ski as a family and catch up and enjoy good times with other families.
"And, let's face it, we're ready to get back to normal - well as normal as things can be in this part of the world -- so we're geared up for a great season on the snow at Mt Hutt."
Early Bird pricing is available on www.nzski.com until midnight on March 15, 2012. Other exclusive deals on offer in 2012 for those buying at Early Bird season prices include discounted blocks of five group lessons or Kea Club sessions at Mt Hutt, saving up to 37% on last year's prices.
The price of all day lift passes and most other ski products have been frozen at last year's levels. The full price list for 2012 including qualification criteria for Early Bird season pass pricing and mypass rewards are available on www.nzski.com.
The Nitty Gritty
* Children 10 and under ski for free all season at Mt Hutt (age as at June 1, 2012)
* Youth Season Pass prices cut by $150
* mypass rewards can be spent on food and beverage, group lessons, lift passes, and equipment rental at Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak or The Remarkables
Early Bird pricing is:
* Mt Hutt Pass $699 adult, $299 youth (age 11 - 17 years) and senior (age 65 - 74 years), $549 student
* Mt Hutt Midweek Pass $429 adult, $329 student, $299 youth (age 11 - 17 years) and senior (age 65 - 74 years)
* NZSki pass $999, $699 youth (age 7 - 17 years) and senior (age 65 - 74 years)
A small administration fee will apply to supply a season pass for kids 10 years and under, and super seniors.