Huge breaking news this afternoon with Vail Resorts closing Hotham and Falls Creek ski lift operations immediately.
Here is a statement released this afternoon from Vail Resorts.
After careful consideration of the new restrictions in Victoria due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Vail Resorts is suspending ski-lifting operations at Falls Creek and Hotham Ski Resorts, effective Thursday, 9 July through at least 19 August, consistent with the current stay at home directions.
The Company will continue to assess the situation and follow the guidelines of the state health authorities in evaluating if it is advisable or feasible to reopen.
“We did not make this decision lightly as we know our employees, guests and the communities where we operate have already endured so much hardship this year,” said Pete Brulisauer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Vail Resorts Australia.
“However, we are focused first and foremost on health and safety, following local health guidelines and doing our part to support efforts across Victoria to address the recent rise in coronavirus cases. We recognise this is incredibly disappointing to our guests and pass holders, including those who have made reservations at Hotham and Falls Creek this season. We thank them for their patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this incredibly challenging time.”
Perisher will remain open and is unaffected by this decision, operating in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions in NSW.
All reservations for lift tickets, ski and ride lessons and rental bookings will be cancelled and fully refunded. Guests will be contacted with information on processing refunds and are asked to refrain from calling the call centres at this time.
Guests who purchased a 2020 Epic Australia Pass, who have not used the pass and who do not wish to proceed with their pass purchase, may obtain a refund by making a request no later than Sunday 12 July. After the 12 July refund deadline, the 2020 Epic Australia Pass is non-refundable except as provided for under Epic Coverage and under Australian Consumer Law.
Pass Refund Request Here
The resorts only opened on July 6 after a slow start with snow.
Mt Buller will be advising guests on Friday July 10 of their decisions based around the Melbourne lockdown.
This should be a good wake up call to everyone in the snow travel industry in NSW that decisions made by the state governments around the coronavirus could have huge impacts.
So far Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass have had a trouble free start since they opened.
There has been people visiting without it being overly busy in the reserts or towns such as Jindabyne, Berridale and Cooma. But everyone should be staying alert at all times to practice all the directives for the NSW government.
All visitors and residents should abide by social distancing and everyone should be practicing good hygiene as they travel to help stay safe and keep our resorts operating.