Bumper num­bers close moun­tain gates

Mt Buller News - - NEWS - By PAM ZIERKMAHONEY

FOR only the sec­ond time in the same num­ber of years Mt Buller op­er­a­tions closed the gates to vis­i­tors on Satur­day due to the higher than ex­pected num­bers flock­ing to the re­sort.

Group man­ager – mar­ket­ing, sales and events, Gil­liam Dob­son, said “Mt Buller ex­pe­ri­enced record day visi­ta­tion, with more than 2200 ve­hi­cles and over 40 buses en­ter­ing the re­sort.

“An un­prece­dented num­ber of ve­hi­cles ar­rived af­ter 12pm, which put our day vis­i­tor car park­ing at ca­pac­ity by around 2.30pm,” Ms Dob­son said.

“A good weather forecast cou­pled with the fi­nal week­end of the Vic­to­rian school hol­i­days meant lots of fam­i­lies were tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a day visit to the snow.

“It cer­tainly was all hands on deck as all avail­able re­sources were de­ployed to as­sist.”

Fig­ures re­leased last week by the ARCC showed in com­par­i­son to other years vis­i­tor num­bers for the week end­ing July 10 were up by a mas­sive 78 per cent with 37,480 peo­ple recorded.

The ma­jor­ity of these vis­i­tors were ‘day passes’ as the vis­i­tor day num­bers were 56,664 for the same week.

In 2015 for the same week only 21,472 vis­i­tors reached Buller and in 2014 only slightly higher fig­ures of 26,917 were recorded.

To date the to­tal num­ber of vis­i­tors to Buller is 80,340 - al­most dou­ble that of the pre­vi­ous two years at the same time for week five.

Satur­day af­ter­noon July 9 saw the Cat­tle­man’s Rail Jam event take place in the Vil­lage Square, where for the first time the qual­i­fy­ing rounds were also held in the Vil­lage rather than in the ter­rain park.

“This gave vis­i­tors some­thing ex­tra to check out that they oth­er­wise wouldn’t have seen, and ex­pe­ri­ence some of the coun­try’s top snow­board­ers take to the fa­mous Cat­tle­man’s stair­case,” Ms Dob­son said.

The ex­tremely high num­ber of vis­i­tors meant moun­tain park­ing was at a pre­mium with no spa­ces left in any of the car parks or along the sides of the road.

Mir­im­bah Park was full and even cars were park­ing up to one kilo­me­tre be­low the Mir­im­bah Store.

Ad­di­tional traf­fic con­trol was brought in and bar­ri­cades placed half a kilo­me­tre from the gates.

Only overnight park­ing ve­hi­cles were ad­mit­ted un­til some car spa­ces be­came avail­able, which was not un­til around 4pm.

As cars were parked all the way down the moun­tain and filled Mir­im­bah Park ad­di­tional shut­tle buses were also de­ployed to get the peo­ple to the vil­lage and back again.

Bus shut­tles ran un­til af­ter 7pm to clear the day vis­i­tor num­bers – a fan­tas­tic job done by all to cope with such a huge in­flux of peo­ple.

The rail jam event saw more than 300 peo­ple stay un­til late into the evening to view the spec­tac­u­lar board riding of com­peiti­tors (See page 8 for Rail Jam re­sults and pic­tures).

GET­TING HOME: Vis­i­tors to Mt Buller queued be­yond Buller Cen­tral for more than an hour wait­ing to be shut­tled down to the car park­ing again. The bus shut­tles did a fan­tas­tic job in clear­ing the huge num­ber of peo­ple off the moun­tain within a two hour time frame.

PHOTOS: Pam Zierk-Ma­honey

WATCH­ING THIS: Just part of the big crowd that stayed on Buller to watch the Spec­tac­u­lar Bur­tons Cat­tle­men’s Rail Jam event on Satur­day night.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: On the busiest day of the sea­son all ad­min­is­tra­tion staff from RMB and BSL were on hand to help guide vis­i­tors through the re­sort and to en­sure all had a good time. Pic­tured is Ben An­n­ear from RMB mar­ket­ing talking with vis­i­tors.

SEA OF BUSES: The skat­ing rink bus park­ing bays were full to the brim as more than 40 long ve­hi­cles ar­rived on Satur­day.

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