Jono Dean is the new CEO of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Limited (RAL).

Dean had been working for RAL since June 2018 as the general manager for the Whakapapa ski area on the northern side of the mountain.

He replaces former CEO Ross Copland who, after three years in the role, is moving south to take up a chief executive position in Queenstown.

RAL chairman Murray Gribben said Dean knows the business well.


"This appointment recognises our need for a CEO who understands our business and our partners from all over the local community who make this mountain such a special place," Gribben said.

"Jono was instrumental in managing the introduction of the Sky Waka gondola at Whakapapa which is opening up the mountain to a wider range of users."

Dean has a degree in tourism management from Victoria University of Wellington and spent 10 years working for Accor Hotels.

He is a keen skier of both Tūroa and Whakapapa, where he was a member of the Vic Ski and Board Club.

"If you can ski here, you can ski anywhere," he says of his experiences on Mt Ruapehu.

Gribben said Dean will ensure RAL's sustainability by continuing to improve the visitor experience for skiers and delivering a unique Mt Ruapehu summer offering.

"The key focus for RAL for the immediate future will be on growing the range of
recreational experiences we can offer our customers, particularly in the summer
season," he said.

"While the winter weather has been challenging this year, the redevelopment of
our facilities will help RAL to build our tourism offering.


"RAL now has ambitious plans to improve the facilities at Tūroa, including potentially building a gondola there to complement the enhancements at Whakapapa."