‘Raring to go’: Australia’s ski resorts prepare for a post-pandemic comeback like no other

‘Raring to go’: Australia’s ski resorts prepare for a post-pandemic comeback like no other

Alpine towns hope that heavy snowfalls will bring tourists back and boost business after a quiet 2020 ski season.

After a muted pandemic-affected season, the ski season is here. The east Australian cold snap this week has brought a lot of snow.

The first snowfall of the year is always a special moment for Cam Barton, who owns Alpine Sports in Jindabyne.

He says, “Everyone loves the first big snowfall of the season and we just had one.” “It is probably the best season start I can recall.”

The cold front has caused heavy snowfalls across the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands.

Snow has raised expectations for the snow season, which already carries a lot of weight.

Barton describes the mood as “very buoyant.” People who delayed their trip last summer are not waiting for it this year. “Those who are keen to snowboard and ski overseas in the summer can’t do it now. So everyone needs to get their fix right away.”

Barton stated that real estate agents, accommodation providers, and the town are close to being full at the present.

We’re more optimistic this year than last.

“We had some tense moments last year but we kept the season going without closing the resorts. It was never an ordinary season. There seems to be more optimism in the air this year.”

Our ski and snowboard rentals were down by half. We were wondering if today was the day every day. “Are they going to close us down? Will this be the end of season?”

Everyone is hoping that this winter is the beginning of some normality. We’re seeing a lot more interest and enthusiasm.”

Some challenges accompany the excitement. For example, the closure of the international border and the continued restrictions in Victoria will prevent many people from visiting the alpine area, at least for the short term.

Barton explains that international travelers are often hired by alpine businesses to work as ski instructors and lift staff.

“Of Course none of them are coming in.” We usually have 2 to 3 inbound travelers from abroad, but they aren’t here this year. There’s not enough staff to go around.

He and the majority of businesses there have hired juniors. This, he says, has some downsides.

There are a few things that juniors cannot do in the world of skiing and ski rental. They can do all the other stuff, some of which are amazing. “It just means that everyone has to pitch in for this year.”

The recent circuit-breaking lockdown in Victoria has dampened the excitement. Still, Sarah Watt of Falls Creek Ski Resort, director of marketing and communications, says it didn’t take away all the energy.

Everyone is eager to get started on the skiing season this year.

The bookings are very good from the school holidays to September. It isn’t easy to find a room at the moment. This is great news.”

We have a lot of mid-week bookings that normally don’t fill up until the date is nearer. It isn’t easy to get a reservation if you’ve not pre-booked.

Watt reported that the recent wild weather brought more than 20cm of snow. More is expected to fall over the weekend. Although there is some uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, there is hope that the state will enjoy another good snow season.

We are very optimistic that the health measures put in place will work and give us an amazing season.

Watt encouraged people to book in advance, saying that the resort expects large crowds.

The resort is a bit different this year. We ask that all visitors plan, purchase their entry permits and lift tickets in advance, and book their accommodation to ensure a seamless visit.

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