Two of the four main ski areas in the Australian state of Victoria have closed just a few days after their delayed winter 2020 opening, but two others have decided to stay open, as the region suffers an increased number of virus cases.
Falls Creek and Mt Hotham (pictured above at opening last week) have however closed their ski lifts just a few days after opening for the 2020 season a month later than planned, due first to pandemic restrictions then to limited snow cover.
Vail Resorts, which operates the downhill ski infrastructure at both resorts, say they’ll be closed to at least August 19th – about six weeks before the end of the season.
Mt Baw Baw (pictured below last week) and Mt Buller have decided that, for now, they’re staying open however, for the sake of local businesses and with state-borders closed again, to serve Victoria-based skiers.
“Mt Buller will continue to provide an opportunity for regional Victorians and locals to enjoy time on the slopes for as long as conditions permit. The resort received 8cms of snow this weekend and continues to add to the cover with snow factories in operation 24/7,” a statement from Mt Buller on Sunday, 12th July, reads, continuing,
“A majority of operators, including restaurants, cafes, accommodation houses, retail and rental stores, movie cinema, gallery and activities, have confirmed they will remain open and are ready to welcome visitors. Lift tickets for the remainder of the 2020 season were released today and are available for purchase online.”
And the picture isn’t clear cut at the two closed areas either, as whilst Vail resorts have closed the lifts and downhill runs, other businesses are staying open,
“Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board has confirmed that Mt Hotham will remain open following Vail Resorts decision …We feel for our local businesses, their staff, and all of our guests who are impacted by this action, a necessary part of the response to managing coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria,” an online statement reads, continuing, “While the lifts may not be running, there are still winter snowsports activities that can continue to run at Hotham. As a result, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board have made the decision to keep the resort operating for guests from areas that are not in lockdown.”
Falls creek is in a similar position stating, “Ski lift operations have been suspended until at least 19 August. The resort is currently still open for dining, cross country and backcountry skiing, sight-seeing and snow play.”