The rumours were rife prior to Christmas that Vail Resorts was purchasing both Hotham and Falls Creek in Australia. However no official word was made by either party by the end of the year and those same rumours began to fade in the new year.
We can now confirm today that the worst kept secret in Australian ski industry history is a secret no more. Vail Resorts is officially acquiring the two Victorian Resorts for AU$174 million according to a press release from the publicly listed company, making it three Australian resorts on the Epic Pass including Vail owned Perisher in New South Wales.
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More Falls Creek News
Stuart Smythe — CEO-Falls Creek Resort Management
Casting my eye across to the plateau of Spion Kopje, covered in a blanket of lush greenery, it’s hard to believe this summer has been so hot.
Plenty of the locals have anecdotal ‘evidence’ that barometers in the village exceeded 30c, but checking the official stats, since the start of December, Falls Creek recorded its hottest day this summer on January 16th, 2019, where the mercury hit 28.2c (Note: 28.6c, February 9th, 2009 is the hottest recorded). No wonder the lake was such a popular gathering place – not just for locals, but also visitors looking to escape the heat in the low lands.
With the climate change lenses on, I thought a quick review of how this compares to history might be worth investigating (note – official Falls Creek B.O.M. stats only go back to 1990). So, this summer, average peak temperatures have been 3.7c above the last 30 years, whilst rainfall is currently on track to meet the average of 298.7mm for the three months of summer. This might explain the lush green vegetation everywhere.
Though summer officially ends in a few weeks, the event schedule continues with plenty still on offer. There are many smaller events, interspersed with several majors including the Peaks Challenge and don’t forget the Longest Lunch – details on all activities [HERE].
With all this weather talk, it’s no wonder our attention is starting to focus in on winter. Especially with the industry coming off the back of a hugely successful 2018 season, with 1.722m visitor days and 982,806 people coming to the snow. Anticipation of what season 2019 has in store is high. Fuelling that anticipation are the reports out of North American and Europe setting records with huge snowfalls and freezing temperatures…(of course this means nothing for us in Australia, but that doesn’t help my story). FY – as at the time of writing, there are only 112 days until the season kicks off!
That got me thinking about my other favourite past time – stats and how does the ski season compare to other events that make Victoria great? Well…you wouldn’t be surprised to know…more people come to the Festival of Skiing than attend the Spring Racing Carnival, the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open or the upcoming Comedy Festival (to name but a few – and these are the spring/summer events)…the only winter ‘season’ that can beat the ski industry is the AFL…fact: there were more visitor days to the ski fields than Collingwood supporters going to Magpie games (1.722m vs 1.439m)…
Now finally, in case you missed it, Falls Creek Resort won Gold at the RACV Tourism Awards late last year, a huge testament to all stakeholders who make Falls Creek a leading year-round destination. It is a tremendous achievement and recognition of everyone’s contribution over many years. To be recognised by a panel of experts and industry peers is an outstanding achievement and one you can all be very proud of. By winning the state level, Falls Creek is now nominated in the National category at an awards ceremony in Tasmania on March 1st. Fingers crossed everyone!
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