23 May 2020

Ski resorts to miss June long weekend reopening

| Michael Weaver
Start the conversation
Thredbo Resort

Benches and equipment sit in waiting during a dusting of snow at Thredbo on 22 May. Photo: Thredbo Resort.

As light falls of snow dust the Snowy Mountains again this weekend, ski resorts will have to wait until after the traditional June long weekend to reopen.

Although visitors can travel to the Snowy Mountains after 1 June, the NSW ski resorts will not be open on the June long weekend.

“Thredbo Resort will not be opening the snow season for skiing and snowboarding over the June long weekend. This means there will be no skiing/snowboarding or any opening weekend events in Thredbo over 5-8 June,” a spokesperson for Thredbo Resort said.

“We’re continuing to work hard with Government authorities and snow industry partners to deliver a COVID safe season. We remain hopeful that we’ll be able to offer skiing and snowboarding this winter and are hoping to announce an opening date as soon as possible.”

While resorts at Thredbo and Perisher said they welcomed the lifting of the NSW travel ban from 1 June, there was still uncertainty about when they would be able to welcome people back to the ski fields.

NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said although the lifting of restrictions was good news for businesses in the Snowy Mountains region, ski resorts still had some work to do before visitors could enjoy the area.

“I’m very pleased to share that this means we will have a ski season this year; however, holidaymakers should be aware that ski resorts will likely need time to put COVID plans into place and you should make contact before visiting,” Mr Barilaro said.

He said while regional NSW will welcome visitors with open arms, holidaymakers should call their planned accommodation venues and attractions to ensure they will be open and confirm their bookings before travelling.

“COVID could not have come at a worse time for regional NSW, with towns already doing it tough due to bushfires and drought and so I encourage everyone to make plans to safely and responsibly visit their favourite regional holiday destination or discover a new one,” Mr Barilaro said.

Workers at Thredbo

Workers at Thredbo prepare the village for the opening of the ski season. Photo: Thredbo Resort.

A spokesperson for Perisher Resort said they also hoped to share their opening date plans soon.

“Unfortunately, it won’t be in time for the upcoming June long weekend as we continue all necessary pre-season work to ensure we provide you with a safe and enjoyable experience in this new environment.

“In preparing for the upcoming season, first and foremost we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, employees and communities. Our plans will continue to be informed by guidance from public health authorities and government health orders relating to resort operations.”

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service said some caravan parks and camping grounds will be open from 1 June, but travellers should call ahead and confirm bookings.

“We are working towards opening many campgrounds and accommodation from Monday, 1 June and we expect to be opening the booking system in the next few days.

“Many of our most popular campsites are already managed via online bookings, and we are working to add an online booking function for as many other campgrounds as possible.”

Pete Taylor from SnowWatch said long-range forecasts are looking promising for more natural snowfalls during the first two weekends of June. However, initial snowfalls have melted pretty fast.

“There isn’t much happening until we see showers and rain developing on the 30th and into the 31st [of May] before a cold front arrives on the early hours of the 1st of June bringing widespread snowfalls and blizzard conditions,” he said.

“We should see anywhere from 7 cm to 20 cm across the 1st and 2nd [June]. Winds will be very strong across the 30th-2nd.

“Hopefully, around this time we will see the snow guns start to fire up and build a base for opening.

“With so much uncertainty with COVID-19, resorts are likely to hold off on any snowmaking due to costs until governments give the all-clear to go ahead with the season. NZ resorts have announced a season start at the end of June, so hopefully, our resorts can also soon announce their planned openings.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.