Ready for sea­son

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - By GREG O’CON­NOR

RE­SORT and ski lift oper­a­tors are look­ing for­ward to a big sea­son across the re­gion, no mat­ter what Mother Na­ture pro­vides.

Falls Creek Ski Lifts brand man­ager Anthony O’Shea is “qui­etly con­fi­dent” of a strong sea­son, with big events planned for the com­ing months.

“Last year was chal­leng­ing for all re­sorts, but we worked hard and made it a suc­cess,” he said.

“Look­ing back, we had a lot of good snow days and from mid-July a pat­tern where we had fresh snow ev­ery week.

“It looks like a slow start this year but his­tory shows there’s no cor­re­la­tion be- tween the weather in May to what we get later in the sea­son.”

Mr O’Shea said oper­a­tors would con­tinue to in­vest in snow-mak­ing equip­ment to en­sure re­sorts pro­vided good qual­ity con­di­tions for snow-go­ers.

“We’re au­tomat­ing our snow-mak­ing and can pro­duce sev­eral Olympic pools worth of snow ev­ery half hour,” he said.

“We can make even more snow more quickly, of the same con­sis­tency as fall­ing snow.

“There’ll be bet­ter con­di­tions, bet­ter main­te­nance, and we’ll be car­ry­ing on the good work we did last year.”

Mt Hotham Ski­ing Com­pany re­sort brand man­ager Con­nie Lurger shares the con­fi­dence for the com­ing sea­son.

“We need a bit more help from Mother Na­ture but we’re feel­ing good about the sea­son ahead,” she said.

“I’d rather have the warm weather out of the way now than in the mid­dle of the sea­son.

“We have some ex­cit­ing stuff in the pipe­line and great of­fers to en­cour­age more vis­i­tors.”

Falls Creek Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Gra­ham Parker said the re­gion’s businesses al­ways took a pos­i­tive ap­proach to each snow sea­son.

“We al­ways think pos­i­tively – it will be the best ever, my best ever for sure,” he said.

“We have a great group of proac­tive, pos­i­tive oper­a­tors who make the most of what each sea­son throws at them.

“We’re at fever pitch at the mo­ment and can’t wait to get the sea­son un­der­way.”

Mr Parker, who has skied Falls Creek ev­ery sea­son since 1968, said a slow start to the sea­son wasn’t the end of the world for re­sort oper­a­tors.

“I was once asked by a news­pa­per re­porter about the prospect of not hav­ing snow for the of­fi­cial open­ing,” he said.

“I jok­ingly told him, “When you’re meet­ing new friends and it’s a party weekend, the last thing you need is snow. You can’t do it all.”

“Of course, that’s the line he went with.”

Read about Es­ther’s ef­forts on page 4.

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