Wednesday, 11 October 2017 08:42

Season lifted to best in years

Mt Hotham turned its lift operations off and farewelled a fantastic season on Sunday, October 8, with many highlights to reflect on. The alpine resort has seen its biggest season in 17 years, with an overall accumulated snowfall of 473 centimetres and a current natural snow base of 120cm, which saw the resort remain open for an extra week. The final piece of the snowmaking masterplan clicked into place this summer with the completion of works on the Summit and 12 new guns installed, allowing the Summit to operate for opening weekend. The launch of the True Spirit of Alpine Australia awareness campaign in June branded the mountain as Australia’s highest alpine village with the most down-to-earth people, assisting with new visitors to the resort. Mt Hotham Resort Management Board chief executive officer, Jon Hutchins, was pleased with the outcome. “It was successful at attracting new visitors to the mountain and saw 31 million digital impressions, five times the population of Victoria,” he said. Mt Hotham delivered in September with great weather conditions, good snow and a calendar of events, which saw the Deck Party, Retro Day, Chicks with Stix and the Rail Jam take place, and other events throughout the month.

Unique attractions like Alpine Nature Experience and Hotham 365 was an opportunity to showcase alternative winter products for guests. The board encourages new operators to approach them for alternative winter activities. “We endured three blizzards this year, and the result was great snow, great skiing great conditions but also having East Gippsland as alternative avenue when the road is constrained to the north,” Mr Hutchins said. “We still have an option for people to leave and come through the East through Bairnsdale back to Melbourne and there for we were able to get customers off the resort and into the resort safely. “The best part about the Alpine Nature Experience is that it is unique, it’s something you wouldn’t get anywhere else. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase the nature of an alpine region, snowshoeing and being completely eco-friendly. “We are looking forward to Alpine Nature Experience coming back next year and in the summer, and providing other opportunities for people to operate unique experiences. “Hotham 365 this year has been a success in giving day visitors the opportunity to come and experience skiing without having to get involved in the cost and it operates all-yearround.”