Bumper numbers close mountain gates
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.
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.