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  • By Steve Cuff

    At the recent Ski Lodges Organisation of Perisher Smiggins and Guthega (S.L.O.P.E.S) annual general meeting the Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced that the NSW Government had approved NPWS entering into direct negotiations with Perisher in relation to a possible head lease over the Perisher Range Resorts of Perisher, Smiggin Holes and Guthega.
    At the same meeting Peter Brulisauer, Chief Operating Officer of Perisher indicated that Perisher are in discussions with the Department of Planning regarding proposed changes at Mt Perisher.
    The project would include replacement of the Mt Perisher double chairlift and triple chairlift with a new six seat detachable chairlift. Perisher would also like to widen the run, adjust snowmaking alignment and renovation of the Mt Perisher double chair restaurant.

    Head Lease

    When the NPWS put out an Expressions of Interest for a head lease a few years ago it is believed Perisher Resort was the only respondent. Since then there has been discussion but no headway appears to have been made.
    It is only speculation but obviously the NPWS thought it was worth X amount, and perhaps Perisher Resort thought it was not worth that figure.
    So there has been a stalemate of sorts.
    Now Perisher and NPWS are planning to negotiate directly, as opposed to discussions.
    It is watch this space to see if anything will eventuate, but don’t expect it to be a quick decision.

    Most people believe it would be best for the whole Perisher Valley precinct to have Perisher Resort as the head lease holder.

    New 6 Seat Mt Perisher Chair

    In the meantime Perisher are getting on with their business of investing in the resort and have been discussing a new 6 seat detachable chairlift that would stay on the approximate triple chair alignment with the unload around the same location as the double chair.
    It will be interesting to see “if” they venture another four metres higher to be the highest lifted point in Australia. Thredbo currently have that at 2037 metres. The top of the Mt P double chair is 2034m.
    Perisher would also be applying to widen the Towers Run, move snowmaking to accommodate a wider run and renovate the Mt Perisher Restaurant.

    Both photos show the current chairlifts at Mt Perisher. Photos Steve Cuff

    The new quad chairlift at Leichhardt currently under construction now and ready for winter 2019 is a key piece of this puzzle.
    To upgrade the Mt P chair and not have faster access back to Front Valley would not have worked.
    Perisher have deliberately progressed in this order of new chairlifts to make the return from Mt Perisher much more functional.

    At this stage there is no indication of when the new Mt Perisher work would take place but knowing Perisher’s attention to detail, once the Development Application (DA) is submitted they would have likely ticked all the boxes beforehand.
    Then it would be all systems go to put the order in for the new chair and complete it over summer. Which summer will be the question…?

    All of this news will be very welcomed by the Perisher faithful.

    Stay tuned for more updates in the next 12 months.