Victoria’s Snow Fields Delay Ski Lift Opening

Victoria’s Snow Fields Delay Ski Lift Opening
Resort staff prepare the Summit Quad chairlift for opening during the start of the Australian snow season at Mount Hotham on June 17, 2005 in Mount Hotham, Australia. (Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Two of Victoria’s biggest ski destinations are delaying the opening of their lifts as they manage COVID-19 restrictions, with customers to get full refunds.

Mount Hotham and Falls Creek were set to open their lifts on Wednesday but will push it back to July 6 “due to challenging early-season conditions,” global resort operator Vail Resorts says in a statement.

“The delay is to ensure that Hotham and Falls Creek can open enough terrain to provide a safe experience in accordance with the COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan.”

The Safe Operating Plan falls under Safework Australia and aims to protect wokers across a range of industries.

Full refunds will be issued by Vail Resorts on all lift, lesson and rental purchases that have been made for Mt Hotham and Falls Creek for the period June 24 to July 5. In New South Wales, Perisher successfully opened for the 2020 snow season on Wednesday, with three lifts open for skiers and snowboarders. In accordance with social distancing rules, visitors to Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek are required to pre-purchase lift tickets, lessons and rentals online.

The late start to the ski season comes days before the school holidays in Victoria and what tourism operators hope will bring a much-needed boost to the areas.

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