Following the news that ski resorts in the Australian province of Victoria could open from 22nd June, made by the province’s government a few days ago, ski areas in New South Wales where most of the rest of Australia’s main ski areas are located have also been given the go ahead from the same date.
However only some ski areas say they’ll open on Monday 22nd, with others opting for Wednesday 24th.
Ski areas are also stressing there’ll be fewer people allowed in the mountains for virus-safety reasons and that advance booking is essential to ensure your space.
Skiers and snowboarders will only be able to access the resorts with a pre-purchased pass or lift tickets; on-the-day lift ticket purchases will not be available. Social distancing will be carefully managed at each resort, based on the amount of terrain and lifts open.
Precise details about resort operations will be announced in the coming weeks.
So far Mt Buller, Mt Baw Baw and Thredbo say they’ll open on the 22nd whilst Vail Resorts owned Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham say they’ll open on the 24 June.
Charlotte Pass will have company operated accommodation open from Thursday 25th June, with the expected commencement of mountain operations from Friday 26th June.
Mt Selwyn will remain closed during the season due to bushfire damage which destroyed lifts earlier in the year.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic most Australian areas had planned to open, as is traditional, over a long-weekend in the country which this year is from June 6-8, so they are opening about a fortnight later than normal.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to open our resorts for the 2020 snow season, especially given the difficult year endured by our mountain communities, and we take seriously the responsibility we have to keep our employees, guests and communities safe in this new environment,” said Pete Brulisauer, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Vail Resorts, Perisher and Australia.
“Delaying our traditional opening from the June Long Weekend to 24 June is intentional to ensure our entire team has the time to fully understand and embrace our new COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan so that we can deliver a safe experience for our guests. We thank our guests in advance for their patience, understanding and cooperation as we all adapt to the new social distancing measures required to allow us to enjoy skiing and snowboarding this season.”