ABOM adapts and ad­vances for an ac­tion-packed win­ter

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

THE ABOM restau­rant, bar and ho­tel at Mt Buller has a rich and colour­ful history dat­ing back to the 60s.

You may not know it, but the ABOM was orig­i­nally de­signed by a bal­let dancer and used to be fa­mous for its roast duck - but you prob­a­bly do know it’s al­ways a good spot for a ski-in, ski-out coffee, re­laxed din­ing and good food.

ABOM has changed and grown over the years but warm hospi­tal­ity re­mains at the core of this iconic Mt Buller venue and win­ter 2017 is al­ready off to a busy start.

Chef Nick Mar­tigny is back this win­ter and con­tin­u­ing to im­press lo­cals and guests Mount Stir­ling Re­sorts, says cli­mate change has been on the man­age­ment board’s radar since 1990.

“Since those early days, our plan­ning and strate­gic work has been look­ing to make best use of the moun­tains year round,” she said.

“Tra­di­tion­ally, Vic­to­ria’s snow destinations have seen vis­i­tors come for recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties such as down­hill ski­ing and snow­board­ing.

“Nowa­days the ma­jor­ity of tourists are more in­ter­ested in sight­see­ing.

“There is a demise of the ski in­dus­try, they’re head­ing overseas for a more guar­an­teed op­tion of snow, but alpine ar­eas can still pro­vide a great place for a first ex­pe­ri­ence – to see and to touch.”

Ms Per­rin said once it was es­tab­lished over­all tourism is not in­flu­enced by the amount of snow, the re­sort changed their tac­tics and fo­cused on pro­mot­ing the area in both the shoul­der sea­son and in sum­mer months.

“The plan is to have re­sorts fo­cus on their strengths, re­gard­less of the weather,” Ms Per­rin said.

Dr An­drew King, a cli­mate with his clas­sic bistro dishes and spe­cials nights which have be­come firm favourites on the cal­en­dar – Tues­day be­ing Pot and Parma, Wed­nes­day fam­ily pasta night, Thurs­day steaks, Fri­day pizza spe­cials and the fa­mous Sun­day roast night.

Venue man­ager Suzie Well­borne says guests will no­tice a change on the taps in the ABOM this win­ter with the re­turn of Carl­ton United Brew­eries (CUB) to the venue af­ter more than 15 years.

“We are work­ing closely with CUB to in­ject lots of fun and events into the ABOM this win­ter and we got off to a great start with a Mex­i­can in­spired Corona party on the ex­tremes re­search fel­low at the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne, echoes a sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment about the fu­ture of Mount Buller.

“Cli­mate change is a big prob­lem be­cause with a small amount of warm­ing, it be­comes eco­nom­i­cally less vi­able to have a big ski in­dus­try in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“Weather sys­tems are chang­ing and cold fronts are less likely so in­stead of bring­ing snow, it brings rain.”

Dr King says al­though the snow sea­son will shrink in du­ra­tion, hap­haz­ard weather means there’s al­ways a chance oc­ca­sional cold snaps will cre­ate ideal con­di­tions for snow­fall.

For Louise Per­rin, Mount Buller is al­ways go­ing to have enough charm to at­tract ad­mir­ers lo­cally and from afar.

“Mother Na­ture has pro­vided for this in­dus­try and for busi­nesses to sur­vive, but we might get to a point where that’s not the case any­more,” she said.

“It’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent but dif­fer­ent shouldn’t mean a death sen­tence.” open­ing week­end,” said Ms Well­borne.

“We have lots of ex­cit­ing events planned and will be host­ing plenty more par­ties down in the Moose­head Bar in­clud­ing the Cat­tle­man’s Rail Jam Af­ter Party, a Cana­dian Club Ugly Jumper Party and a fourth of July Bud­weiser cel­e­bra­tion as well as all the tra­di­tional fes­tiv­i­ties such as ABOM Moguls and Pond Skim af­ter par­ties of course.”

The fa­mous Fox FM broad­cast will also be hosted at the ABOM again this win­ter with the usual fun and en­ter­tain­ment in­side the ABOM from the break­fast show right through the day on Fri­day, July 21.

CHANG­ING EN­VI­RON­MENT: Ris­ing av­er­age tem­per­a­tures, in­creased rain­fall, and un­pre­dictable weather pat­terns - there’s no doubt that cer­tainty of a de­cent snow sea­son is wan­ing in the 21st cen­tury. PHO­TOS: Katie Coulthard WIN­TER: While 2016 brought a healthy dose of snow­fall to the alps, it’s no in­di­ca­tion this year will spell out the same pros­per­ity. SUM­MER: Mt Buller fo­cuses on pro­mot­ing the area in both the shoul­der sea­son and in sum­mer months.

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