Wow, it is not everyday you have a new gondola in the Australian snow fields.
In fact it has never happened before.

Meet the new $15 million Thredbo Merritts Gondola, that will be welcoming guests very soon.

The high speed eight-person Doppelmayr constructed gondola has replaced the old Merritts double chair and is the only alpine gondola in Australia.
The gondola quadruples the capacity to 2000 people per hour with the ride from the village to the top taking only six minutes.
Thredbo Resort General Manager, Stuart Diver said it is a significant investment in Thredbo and will revolutionise how people move around the resort.
“It is going to be really exciting and I think Thredbo people don’t realise just how good it’s going to be,” said Mr Diver.

Let’s take a sneak peak

Fun Facts
– There are 157 independent footings across the project. This involved 1196m3 of concrete which equates to 2870 tonnes or 574 African Elephants
– The next phase of the construction involves the mechanical install. Hundreds of tonnes of steel and thousands of bolts are required to accomplish this. This equipment was shipped from Austria to Australia in over 40 shipping containers
– 5 Towers were flown by a Blackhawk helicopter with loads of up to 3 tonnes being landed on the Schuss section of the Merritts lift line
– The rope from Switzerland is then spliced. It is 2784m long….approximately 20 Aussie Rules football fields long or 24 NRL fields long
– The top speed is 5m/s or 18km/h
– The ride is 6 minutes top to bottom with a bottom elevation of 1370m and a top elevation of 1665m

Thredbo Resort, operated by EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd, has today announced the completion of several developments. This includes the launch of the Merritts Gondola, the only alpine gondola in Australia. In addition, EVENT has also invested in a new car park, improvements to Dream Run including snowmaking, an expanded grooming fleet, and has continued to introduce new sustainability measures all of which contribute to delivering an enhanced experience for visitors to Thredbo.

Thredbo is Australia’s premier alpine resort and has been voted Australia’s Best Ski Resort in the World Ski Awards for three consecutive years. The Gondola investment will further enhance this position, replacing the Merritts double chairlift and quadrupling capacity. The cabin-style lift is similar to those found in Europe and North America and represents the culmination of two years of planning and development, delivering a new crucial inter-mountain link.

Stuart Diver, General Manager of Thredbo Resort today said: “The investment being made in Thredbo is really exciting to see, and I have no doubt Thredbo customers will agree. The launch of the Gondola is a huge event for Thredbo and the entire community who have worked so hard to make this happen.

It is a remarkable engineering achievement thanks to the tenacity and depth of knowledge and expertise at Doppelmayr, the world’s leading manufacturer of ski lifts. The completion of this phase of our development plan will enhance the customer experience and continue to ensure we remain Australia’s premier resort.

“Snow lovers will be thrilled with easier access to the Cruiser area and the Friday Flat beginners’ area, and with the improvements we have made to the popular Dream Run, including a new automated snowmaking system.
“We care deeply about our responsibility of operating in a unique natural environment, which is why being Australia’s first ski resort to be powered exclusively by clean, renewable energy was also an important milestone.”

Shaun Turner, General Manager of Doppelmayr Australia said, “Doppelmayr is proud to be delivering Merritts Gondola to Thredbo on time for the 2020 winter snow season. Merritts is the first eightpassenger gondola in the Australian snowfields and offers world leading European quality, safety and green technology.
“Thredbo’s new gondola is driven by a massive slow turning motor which is super quiet and more efficient than a conventional gondola. We would like to commend Thredbo for demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and the environment with the uptake of this innovative technology.”

The investment in the Merritts Gondola provides:
 Easier access for Village guests of all abilities to the Friday Flat and Cruiser area.
 Fast turnaround access from the Gondola Mid-Station to the Top-Station for intermediate and advanced ski and snowboarders accessing the popular Dream Run and its surrounding tree
runs.
 Easier access for foot and scenic passengers to the Merritts Mountain House.
 Reduced pressure on the Kosciuszko Express and Gunbarrel Express chairlifts.

Jane Hastings, Chief Executive Officer of EVENT Hospitality & Entertainment said: “As a Group, a key strategic priority is to maximise our assets to enable growth and deliver the best possible customer experiences. Our Thredbo plan is centred on enhancing the skier, hiker and mountain biker experience with targeted investment on mountain that respects the environment we are operating in.
Our recent investments in the Merritts Gondola, snowmaking on Dream Run, an expanded snow grooming fleet and increased carparks will enable more customers to enjoy an even better Thredbo experience. I am incredibly proud of our team at Thredbo for their absolute commitment in overcoming the impact of the bushfires, adjusting our operating model for COVID-19 restrictions, and delivering this phase of our strategic plan.”
The winter stage is set with additional snowmaking, car park expansions and continued commitment from Thredbo Resort to power all its major resort operations with 100% renewable energy: