The 2020 snow season has received the green light with a start date of June 22 announced this morning by the NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro.
Mr Barilaro said work is underway to ensure appropriate COVIDsafe measures are in place at Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Perisher.
He said that one of the highlights of the winter tourism season is a trip to our alpine regions, “However, while many people are eager to return to the slopes, it is important that visitors can enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.”
“The NSW Government, through NSW Health and NSW Police, is working closely with ski field operators, associated businesses, suppliers and industry associations to ensure COVIDsafe measures are in place when the season commences.
“These measures will mean that fewer people will be able to visit and stay at resorts this season, so it is essential that people book, confirm their travel arrangements and accommodation before they travel.”
Some of the measures in place include maintaining physical distancing at resorts, limits to the number of people on ski areas, controlled access to ski lifts, increased cleaning of all facilities and no snow play. It is yet unknown how the no snow play policy will be policed by the National Parks.
As we alluded to in our recent story on Sunday resorts have to operate with drastically reduced numbers and revised ticket options to be able maintain the reduced numbers and abide by social distancing regulations.
The 2020 season will be a season like no other in how resorts operate. Photo Thredbo Resort
Thredbo Lift Capacity Reduced by 50%
Thredbo have announced this morning they will reduce capacity by 50% and restructure their lift tickets for pre purchase of daily and multi day passes with season pass holders offered a refund or discounted passes.
To enable the resort to open for skiing and snowboarding, they will be implementing a revised operating model that has been developed under the advice provided by the NSW Health Department and the State and Federal Governments.
This includes reduced daily capacity limits by up to 50% on usual capacity at this stage and the implementation of a range of social distancing and sanitisation measures.
On the mountain, daily capacity will be limited to enable the resort to open under the Government restrictions.
All guests will need to pre-purchase day lift passes or multi-day passes prior to arrival.
Season Pass holders will be offered the choice of a refund or credit for their pre-purchased passes and will be provided with access to discounted day passes*.
Thredbo will be communicating with all Season Pass holders by Thursday 4 June in relation to their options. Throughout the season, guests will be encouraged to use contactless payment using MyThredbo cards across all Thredbo outlets.
Other measures include 1.5m ‘ski tip to tail’ social distancing in lift queues and a limit of two per quad chair, two per gondola cabin and one per T-bar. Given the limited capacity, it is expected that skiers and snowboarders will incur wait times similar to a normal season.
Only Private Lessons No Thredboland
In addition, only private skiing and snowboarding lessons are able to be offered. Thredboland will be unable to open at the time of the season opening, but this will continue to be monitored as restrictions ease. Restaurants and bars will operate in alignment with Government restrictions as they continue to evolve.”
Thredbo said they have invested in best practice hygiene and sanitisation measures including installing sanitisation stations throughout the resort and has incorporated new procedures to effectively sanitise high use areas including chairlifts, gondola cabins and rental equipment. The resort has also enhanced its stringent approach to cleaning all resort facilities and venues.
Thredbo Resort General Manager Stuart Diver says the resort is looking forward to welcoming guests back and has implemented an operating model to allow guests to ski and snowboard this winter.
“The wellbeing of our guests and our people is always our highest priority at Thredbo,” said Mr Diver.
“We have worked hard with the relevant authorities to be able to open Thredbo this winter, which will look quite different to previous years. Our revised operating model is necessary for us to operate within the NSW Government’s social distancing restrictions and capacity restraints, to allow us to open.
“We would really appreciate if guests could exercise patience as we navigate through the season and play their part in respecting social distancing requirements. We’ll be communicating all safety messages to our guests prior to arrival and remind guests they should not visit the resort if they are unwell.
“After such a challenging start to 2020 with the bushfires and now COVID-19, we are so pleased to open and we’re confident we will continue to deliver Australia’s best skiing and snowboarding this winter. We will be opening our new Merritts Gondola, Australia’s only alpine gondola, as well as the enhanced ‘Dream Run’ experience with a new snowmaking system installed along with increased car parking.”
Thredbo’s revised product offering including day passes, private lessons, ski and snowboard rental and accommodation will be available for pre-purchase from 11.59pm on Wednesday 10 June 2020 by visiting Thredbo.com.au**.
Thredbo is providing a flexible COVID-19 cancellation Policy (terms & conditions apply), allowing a cancellation, change of dates or credit for pre-purchased lift, lesson, rental products and/or accommodation purchased via Thredbo Resort Centre or The Thredbo Alpine Hotel if: Thredbo is closed due to COVID-19 or; Government policies due to COVID-19 prevent guests from travelling on intended dates.
(*A portion of the daily inventory of tickets will be allocated to Season Pass holders at the discounted rate. Season Pass holders will also be given access to a program that offers a greater discount on the daily rate the more days that are purchased. **Updated Terms and Conditions of visiting Thredbo will include requirements for guests to comply with COVID-19 restrictions during their visit.)
Thredbo Questions and Answers Listed Here
Thredbo General Manager Stuart Diver Video Update.
June Long Weekend
Snow resorts will not open before Monday 22 June, meaning skiers and holidaymakers will not be able to visit ski resorts for the 6-8 June long weekend and Selwyn Snow Resort is closed for the season due to bushfire damage in Janaury. A number of COVIDsafe measures will be in place in the snow resorts as well as accommodation, dining and other recreational facilities, with details to be listed on each resort websites soon.
“The ski resorts will not be open over the June long weekend, so please arrange travel and accommodation from 22 June and onwards,” Mr Barilaro said.
“No matter where you are visiting, make sure you book, check that places you’d like to visit will be open, confirm your arrangements before you travel and, most importantly, if you do feel unwell, postpone your trip.”