Two of Victoria's Major Snow Resorts Have Closed Again — Just Weeks After Reopening
Despite being outside of Victoria's lockdown area, the resorts have stopped the ski lifts.
We've got some bad news, snow-bunnies. Despite Victoria's ski resorts being located outside of the 32 local government areas currently in lockdown, Hotham and Falls Creek have today announced that they will be stopping the ski lifts again — just two weeks after reopening.
Vail Resorts, the operator of Hotham and Falls Creek — as well as Perisher in NSW, which is running as normal (well, COVID normal) — made the announcement on Thursday, July 9, saying the resorts would be closing immediately until at least Wednesday, August 19, one day before the metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire lockdown is set to end.
In a statement, Vail Resorts Senior Vice President and COO Peter Brulisaur acknowledged the impact this decision would have on local businesses, many of which already were impacted by this summer's bushfires, saying: "We did not make this decision lightly as we know our employees, guests and the communities where we operate have already endured so much hardship this year. However, we are focused first and foremost on health and safety, following local health guidelines and doing our part to support efforts across Victoria to address the recent rise in coronavirus cases."
On the company's Facebook page, many Victorians expressed anger at the decision, some saying they were already mid-way through a road trip to the snowfields. While Victorians in the 32 local government areas are under strict stay-at-home orders once again — and can only leave home for one of four reasons — those outside are told to follow new "stay safe" guidelines, which allow them to leave home for almost any reason. These residents still have restrictions on public gatherings sizes.
Both Falls Creek and Hotham are providing full refunds for all lift tickets, ski and ride lessons, and rental bookings. Those who have a 2020 Epic Australia Pass and want a refund will need to submit a request over here no later than Sunday, July 12.
"We recognise this is incredibly disappointing to our guests and pass holders, including those who have made reservations at Hotham and Falls Creek this season. We thank them for their patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this incredibly challenging time," Brulisaur said in the statement.
Mt Buller, Victoria's third major snow resort, will continue to operate until at least Sunday, July 12 and is set to make an announcement about the rest of the snow season by 4pm today, Friday, July 10.
Published on July 10, 2020 by Samantha Teague