Early resort openings due to impressive early snowfalls
IT’S ALWAYS a good way to start the official winter season with actual white flakes on the ground and this year Mother Nature decided to come along to the Australian ski resorts and make her presence known in glorious fashion and she did so, a few weeks early, just to get the party started!
Mt Buller officially opened on Friday June 2 after receiving some impressive natural falls, which were backed up by their extensive snowmaking infrastructure.
The ‘on’ switch was flicked to their new stadium lighting which lit up Bourke St on the night for skiers and boarders and the beginner run remained open for the rest of the week which was a whole week earlier than anticipated.
One thing Buller does well is a party and they did so over the long weekend with fireworks, gluhwein and children’s entertainment and most importantly there was snow on the ground, which made for a great atmosphere over the village.
Mt Hotham launched their ‘ True Spirit of Alpine Australia’ branding campaign at the start of June and the new identity positions Hotham as Australia’s most thrill-seeking alpine mountain and Hotham also received some decent early snowfalls.
With snow on the ground, the official opening of the Mt Hotham 2017 Winter Season was announced by MP, (Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria) Danielle Green.
Guests enjoyed the first runs of the season on opening weekend, with lifts operating from the Saturday and perfect weather conditions.
The weekend saw the most accessible terrain on opening weekend since 2012 with The Summit, Big D and Summit Trainer ski runs in full operation.
MP Danielle Green enjoyed her time up at Mt Hotham and praised the role of the Alpine resorts and economic benefit they provide to the wider community.
“Spend by tourists in regional Victoria is up by 28.2 per cent, which is compared to the national average growth of 4.7 per cent, so we are really punching above our weight and the alpine resorts are such an important part of that.”
Mt Baw Baw also recorded impressive early snowfalls and were able to open early as a result of the white flakes making their way to the Gippsland region. The cool weather and cold front from the south resulted in record amounts of early snowfall at Mt Baw Baw. The mountain officially opened for snow play on the first day of winter which was a real welcome for the resort.
Mt Baw Baw General Manager, John Fascio, said resort staff had not seen such a vast amount of snow before the official launch, historically held on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend every year, since 2010.
“We were surprised to see snowfall at the beginning of May, and the snow in late May/early June enabled us to be able to open the mountain more than a week early,” Mr Fascio said.
◆ DIGNITORIES: Board members from the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board pose with MP Danielle Green (with the red hat) from left David Anstee, Maxine Morand (deputy chair), Danielle Green, Nicole Feeney (chairperson), Jo Shannon, Andrew Skewes and Julia Hunter.
◆ FRESH: Mt Hotham enjoyed some decent early snowfalls which allowed for a stellar kick off to season 2017.
◆ CELEBRATION: With snow on the ground, Mt Buller threw a great opening weekend party and lit up the night sky with an impressive fireworks display.