Cardrona Alpine Resort
Warren and Mahoney has realised a five year, overarching masterplan development to regenerate the Cardrona base area guest experience.
We conducted a series of conversations with the executive stakeholders followed by a workshop with operational staff aimed at defining the current and future opportunities for the resort in reference to the physical building mass, facilities and service – all aimed at delivering a great guest experience at Cardrona.
Warren and Mahoney was briefed to deliver a compelling re-utilisation of the existing base buildings which was gauged by the business vision and the operational design input. The strong Cardrona culture was used as a platform to be built on and every aspect of the regeneration of the base build area needed to be backed by efficiency, experience and yield.
A blue sky workshop was conducted with selected operational staff who ideated in the persona of three identified guests, The Family All Day Experience, The Village Dweller and The Ski Nut which were derived from a similar exercise conducted at Vail resort in Colorado. The resulting idea bank was refined and voted on to enable us to derive key direction for the conceptual master planning.
Key drivers for the concept were:
- The Cardrona culture – Quirky, Fun and Safe.
- Retain existing base buildings but re-organise adjacencies and flow.
- Create moments of surprise.
- Added yield through retail and F&B offerings
- Consolidate children and crèche
- The ‘entry experience’ – first impressions are imperative
- Not like the others (Remarkables, Coronet)
- Authentic New Zealand with European service standards
- Use the space we already have
We approached this project through the eyes of the customer and the connected physical experiences and journey onto the mountain. Building on the existing character and defining the culture by realigning the physical assets and adjacencies to deliver a great but unexpected customer experience. The entry building is the beacon for the guest arrival sequence. The LED feature lighting is utilised to define the building form but to also act as part of the overall resort navigation rather than utilising secondary signage. Guests are channelled into either ticketing, rentals or directly onto the slopes via a weather protected express pathway. This connected arrival has been carefully planned to allow guests to self-navigate through the base area without having to double back for services such as ticketing and rentals. Utilising the key built assets we have increased the base building F&B offering and extended the main café to alleviate current and future congestion.
Removing barriers and opening up the engagement between Cardrona people and guests has enhanced the customer experience while maintaining the Cardrona vision of re-purposing and respecting the ecology of the maunga. Cardrona will continue to develop their year-round guest experience becoming an alpine village with all season activities.