Vail Resorts have announced this morning that their opening day for Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek will be June 24 following approval from the NSW and Victorian State Governments.
In what has been an anticipated announcement, the news will be very welcomed by skiers and snowboarders looking to finalise plans for their season.
Each resort will enact a COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan developed in consultation with industry and government leaders, which will include social distancing measures, enhanced cleaning protocols and necessary changes to regularly offered programs and services.
“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.”
Pre Purchased Lit Tickets Only
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.
Details about resort operations will be announced in the coming weeks.
As previously communicated with guests, final payment for the 2020 Epic Australia Pass will not be collected on 1 June. More information, as well as any changes that might be made to the pass addressing COVID-19 impacts on our season, will be shared by 15 June.
At that time, guests will have the option to request a refund of all payments made towards their 2020 Epic Australia Pass and Pass Refund Protection or move forward with their chosen pass product.
Lift Tickets ..???
While the exact makeup of the ticket offering is yet to be announced, it is expected it will be similar to what Thredbo announced yesterday, with season passes cancelled and tickets reissued per day or multi day.
This is the only feasible way the resorts can control the numbers in line with the NSW Health and Government restrictions, and in the case of Hotham and Falls Creek, the Victorian Government.
The Ski Rider Hotel at Wilsons Valley on the Kosciuszko Road to Perisher. Photo Ski Rider Facebook.
Ski Rider Closed for Winter
In other breaking news this morning, one of the biggest hotels in the mountains, the 340 bed Ski Rider Hotel on the Kosciuszko Road has indicated they will not open for the winter.
In a statement released through social media they indicated the difficulties with the COVID-19 situation.
“It brings us great sadness to have to inform you that the Ski Rider Hotel will be unable to open for the 2020 Snow Season due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
“This decision has not been taken lightly and has been a long and arduous process. COVID-19 has created an unprecedented set of risks, restrictions and unknowns that have made it no longer viable, if not impossible, to operate our 340 bed hotel. We feel operating with these restrictions would greatly diminish your holiday experience.
“We are trying to speak with all our guests personally regarding your options in relation to your bookings. Thanks for your understanding. We hope to see you back in 2021.”