The Canterbury high-country township of Methven is set to attract record numbers of families to its ski fields this winter with a special offer of free food, accommodation and skiing for children.
Lying at the foot of Mt Hutt, the South Island’s biggest commercial ski field, Methven and has long been a popular base for winter holiday-makers hitting the slopes.
Now, it hopes to broaden its appeal to families through its Methven Kids 4 Free deal.
The deal, which will be available throughout the Mt Hutt 2012 winter ski season, offers every child under 10, accompanied by a paying adult, free return ski bus to Mt Hutt and Christchurch Airport to Methven transfers, free accommodation, and free meals.
It also gives kids under 10 lift passes at Mt Hutt.
The deal is the initiative of the Mt Hutt Marketing Group which comprises representatives from the Methven business community, Mt Hutt Ski Area, Christchurch International Airport Limited, and Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism.
"Lots of parents dream of taking their kids on a skiing holiday but getting the kids kitted out for the slopes and paying for their travel and accommodation can be quite costly,” says Mt Hutt Marketing Group committee chair Marek Wypych.
"We wanted to make a family ski holiday an affordable reality which is why we came up with the Kids 4 Free deal. When we put the idea to Methven businesses they quickly jumped on board and many shops, restaurants, cafes and motels in the village are already actively promoting the deal, which is fantastic.”
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter anticipates the deal will be hugely popular, both here and in Australia, especially as Methven is only a one hour scenic drive from Christchurch International Airport.
"We’re expecting a lot of families from throughout New Zealand will take up this deal, but we also think we’ll get a lot of families crossing the Tasman to take advantage of this special offer. Mt Hutt has a great reputation in Australia and the opportunity to bring the kids here on a ski holiday for very little cost will prove irresistible for many parents,” Mr Hunter believes.
"In addition to having a great time on the slopes we hope families who take up this fantastic offer will also take the chance to explore the region and uncover some of Canterbury’s hidden gems. This is a wonderful destination for a family holiday because there is so much to see and do whatever the time of the year, whatever the weather,” Mr Hunter says.
The Kids 4 Free offer can be booked online at through your local travel agent, or through the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre.