Mt Hotham set to reach new heights

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

RE­SORT Man­age­ment Board CEO Jon Hutchins says the cre­ation of a vil­lage square and re­de­vel­op­ment of the area cur­rently oc­cu­pied by his staff will take Mt Hotham to a new level.

Mr Hutchins says turn­ing the Cor­ral Car Park into the re­sort’s cen­tre­piece is one of the most ex­cit­ing projects in Mt Hotham’s his­tory.

“Mt Hotham doesn’t have a sense of place when you drive through it,” he said.

“We have the high­est num­ber of cars that go through an alpine re­sort but we have the low­est visi­ta­tion over sum­mer, peo­ple just don’t stop be­cause there is nowhere to stop.”

The cre­ation of the vil­lage square will in­clude pic­nic fa­cil­i­ties, space for en­ter­tain­ment and com­mu­nity events, view­ing plat­forms as well as im­proved des­ig­nated bus zones.

With 120 car spa­ces lost from the squares’ de­vel­op­ment the re­sort’s main park­ing area will be­come the Loch Carpark.

“It’s a $7 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment with the po­si­tion­ing of the vil­lage green, the work to Loch Carpark and the re­lo­ca­tion of some ser­vices,” Mr Hutchins said.

“There will also be road and land­scap­ing work from the tun­nel with the road to be moved closer to the Dargo side to cre­ate more room out the front of Hotham Cen­tral, an area that gets re­ally con­gested.”

Also part of the project will be the de­vel­op­ment of the day cen­tre and build­ing that cur­rently houses the re­sort man­age­ment staff.

“Some de­vel­op­ers have the of­fices which were built in the 1960s be­ing re­placed by a five-storey mixed-use build­ing,” Mr Hutchins said.

“This will pro­vide new food, re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to guests vis­it­ing year-round while they shel­ter from the el­e­ments or dine out­side, ap­pre­ci­at­ing the panoramic views across Australia’s Alpine Na­tional Park.”

“A new ski pa­trol and med­i­cal cen­tre will en­sure that Mt Hotham’s guests will re­main safe by al­low­ing ski pa­trollers and doc­tors to work hand in hand.”

Mr Hutchins says the de­vel­op­ment of a vil­lage cen­tre would com­ple­ment the ad­di­tion of other new in­fra­struc­ture in re­cent years.

“Over the last five years the Re­sort Man­age­ment Board and Mt Hotham Ski Com­pany have worked to­gether to de­liver new wa­ter re­cy­cling and stor­age in­fra­struc­ture as well as in­creased snow-mak­ing within Heav­enly Val­ley,” he said.

“It’s a pretty ex­cit­ing time, ideally we’d like to start this sum­mer but prac­ti­cally it’s prob­a­bly more likely to in 2017-18.

“If we don’t get a start this sum­mer it gives us an­other 12 months to get it all right.”

PHOTO: Karl Gray

VROOM WITH A VIEW: Nitro Global Team Rid­ers, from left to right, Sven Thor­gren, Markus Kleve­land and Torgeir Ber­grem will have a dif­fer­ent view of the Mt Hotham car park when they re­turn in a cou­ple of years.

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