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Baw Baw management

Discussion in 'Mt Baw Baw' started by Charlie, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, it's out
    Belgravia are running MtBaw Baw for the next 12 months at least!
     
  2. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Will be very interesting to see how it goes.
     
  3. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    On a cost plus basis whats more, no risk there.
    Sounds like the govt again failed to find anyone who saw the resort as a viable concern and would sign up to an extended lease, and in the end had to settle for a fee for service for one year arrangement.
    That has to ring alarm bells for the resorts future I think
     
  4. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's the same deal Lake Mountain had, if it works, the lease would be extended
     
  5. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not going to see long term infrastructure investement on those terms though, which is exactly what these little unreliable resorts need.
    Chicken and egg......................
     
  6. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    Interesting that they are going to start immediately for the 2014 season, will have a steep learning curve. I wonder what will happen to existing staff, would imagine that some services and functions could now be streamlined and run from a central location?
     
  7. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    If this does not translate to "installing extensive snowmaking" then the resorts future is doomed, just a matter of when
     
  8. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some admin functions should be centralised to Belgravia HQ.
    They'll probably have to sack everyone and then re-hire them, except for the ones they don't want.
    Hunter, they have long-term plans for LM - I think they're prepared to invest when they get more than a 12 month management deal. At LM, they made more snow last year than had ever been made before - they took it very seriously. They know that without snow, the punters don't come.
     
  9. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Then there is a some chance......
     
  10. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    Hi Charlie, you are always on the ball, and the first to know the news.
    Its hard to believe that this has all come about just when everything has
    been going so well, and the team is working in so well together.
    One can't help thinking that a state govt drive to reduce costs has
    forced the board's hand and let to this farcical situation.
    Belgravia will take the boards service fee and do the bare minimum required in return
    to maximise their profits, that means reduced staff & services and increased charges.
    We need someone like Stuart Ord to promote the mountain, to ensure maintenance
    and capital works programs are carried out properly, and to push for funding for
    capital works like the sealing of the South Face Road or connecting to the electricity grid.
    Belgravia wont be pursuing any of these activities which have a cost and no immediate return.
    Sadly, if Stuart leaves the mountain, we have lost a great friend and ally.
    Dark days ahead.
     
  11. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    G'Day surfnski, you're a man of few words, 3 posts in almost 2 years, all to do with the management changeover!
     
  12. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Surfnski, It seems you know all there is to know about Belgravia. (not)
    Unless these small mountains are less of a drain on the public purse, the greater the chance that they may close. Is that really what you want?
    And I suggest that you wait 6 months before you start ripping shreds off Belgravia.
     
  13. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some big assumptions there about Belgravia. You may be proven correct of course, but time will tell. Have you spoken to the people at Lake Mountain and asked them what their experiences of Belgravia have been?
     
  14. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Check out teckel's posts

    Re Belgravia, it is quite reasonable to give them a 12 month contract, so that both sides can test the waters before making a bigger commitment
     
  15. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    So much speculation about what may happen! I agree with Charlie in that it makes sense to test the waters first with a 12 month contract, this gives them some time to get a feel of the resort before any major decisions are made, especially regarding investment in new infrastructure. Stuart Ord has been a huge asset and it would be a great pity if we were to lose him, and a backward step. He and his staff have worked tirelessly to promote summer events, and do the best with what they had last winter. It is clear that in order to make money you need to spend money, and BB fits right in this category, so I am sure Belgravia would have a long term plan to invest heavily in the resort so they can make some real money in the future. There is really no point in reducing services and increasing costs, as surfnski indicates, although this is possible, but it would only deter the clientelle, especially families. Much will hinge on the snow season this year and determine whether the 12 month contract ends or is renewed, but I look forward with interest to see what, if anything, they will do this close to opening weekend.
     
  16. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    I want nothing more than to be proven wrong. In Vicki's media release she refers to a "fee for service basis". Belgravia specialise in running aquatic centres and day spas, not ski resorts. Lake Mountain does not have accommodation or ski lifts, so this will all be new to them. A "fee for service basis" management does not instil my confidence in any improvement for customers or stakeholders, in fact the opposite. Who is going to be driving the big improvements we really need?
     
  17. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    Pardon my ignorance,but what does 'fee for service' actually mean? Will the government pay them 'X' amount of dollars to perform 'X' amount of work, or is it something else? At the end of the day (or months),we will find out one way or the other what Belgravia's true intentions are,and for those of us who ski, I dare say we will have some idea of any changes the first weekend we go up,although as I hinted earlier, I really don't forsee any major physical changes this close to opening weekend,only peripheral stuff.
     
  18. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike Moderator Ski Pass: Platinum

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    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/m...-over-to-private-operator-20140424-zqyku.html

    Management of the troubled Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort has been transferred from the government to a private operator after another year of losses and millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.

    The ski resort's board has appointed Belgravia Leisure to manage the resort for the next 12 months. Belgravia also manages Lake Mountain.

    Poor snowfalls and early closure of the lifts contributed to a plunge in the Mount Baw Baw resort's revenue in 2013.

    Even with a state government contribution $4,539,215 last year, the resort recorded a $408,783 loss.

    Visitor numbers fell by more than 20,000 last ski season, to 33,000 – the lowest attendance since 2006.

    Mount Baw Baw is Melbourne’s closest downhill ski resort, located about 2.5 hours east of the CBD, and has seven surface lifts (three T-bars, two platters and one poma, plus a “magic carpet”).

    In 2012 the Victorian Auditor-General raised concerns about the financial viability of the resorts at Mount Baw Baw and Lake Mountain.

    Belgravia operations manager Anthony McIntosh said reducing the resort’s reliance on government funding would be a key goal.

    Mr McIntosh said while it was too early to say what measures would be introduced to increase revenue and reduce costs, greater activity on the mountain outside of the ski season would be encouraged.

    Mr McIntosh said he wanted visitors to Mount Baw Baw to have a ‘‘a vibrant, fun, great experience – and feel loved’’.

    ‘‘We will be making improvements to visitor services, to accommodation, and to snow management which will enhance and expand the visitor experience,’’ he said.

    The resort was expected to operate for a full ski-season this year, he said.

    One stakeholder on the mountain said they were extremely happy about the new management arrangement.

    ‘‘Over the moon, absolutely fantastic,’’ they said.

    ‘‘It will stop the waste of money and all the head honchos going up there and partying,’’ they said.

    They called for a big investment in new snow-making equipment for the resort.

    Environment Minister Ryan Smith, said ‘‘supporting private management will help to secure the future of this important Victorian asset’’.
     
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  19. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    What does 'feel loved' mean? I can stay home and do that when the wife is in a good mood.
     
  20. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike Moderator Ski Pass: Platinum

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    ROFL No such thing!
     
  21. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    I can only assume that "fee for service" means following an exact job description, nothing more, nothing less,
    run the ski lifts and ski school, run the accommodation booking and cleaning service, operate the food outlets, collect the rubbish, - somebody at The Age really hates Mount Baw Baw, and always gets comments from someone else who does as well, only the blind could fail to see how good things were heading before all this happened.
     
  22. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    so good, yet so broke.

    doesn't make sense.
     
  23. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You are sooo negative, and so averse to anything positive about this. What's your interest in it? You don't sound like just another skier at Baw Baw.
     
  24. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    I thought it was obvious, I am a member of an association which is a stakeholder. Like I said, the current management is just starting to make the changes, previously only dreamed about. The summer events management would be envied by other mountains. I just don't think its a good idea to change for the sake of it. I don't believe that private management is always the best solution, particularly right now, when things are headed in the right direction.

    I'm not negative. I know that a private management company has only their shareholders to answer to. What do they care if the mountain is connected to the electricity grid and the stakeholders costs are reduced. They get paid their fee for service regardless. What do they care if the village roads need resurfacing, that doesn't effect their income. With Stuart in charge there was a direction, and light at the end of the tunnel. The light has been turned off.
     
  25. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    Current management has been outstanding and certainly heading in the right direction.It would make good business sense to continue with that model,but I do see surfnski's concerns.It doesn't matter now,we just have to wait and see,I think we will have a fair idea after 12 months,it will either be the end,or hopefully a new beginning!
     
  26. James Bond

    James Bond First Runs

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    Yes, the recent management has been outstanding given the snowfalls, financial constraints, government objectives etc etc so hopefully Belgravia will be able to leverage this better management to their advantage. The Green Season is gaining momentum and over time has plenty of upside for Mt Baw Baw. However the concern is what this change means to the clubs on the mountain, especially those 'negotiating' their lease agreement. Over many many years the ski clubs have been the back-bone to developing Baw Baw's so it is hoped that Belgravia and the clubs work and align their objectives so that both remain viable.
     
  27. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    Welcome to the forum Mr Bond. Yes, the clubs certainly are the lifeblood of the resort and have struggled over the years, especially 2013. It would be to Belgravia's advantage to assist all remaining clubs to stay viable, and this means being reasonable with their fees and charges plus leasing arrangements, but running a proper ski resort (sorry LM) looks to be new territory for them so time will tell. I know over the last few years several lodges have gone back to the resort for various reasons, Wonthaggi being the most recent I think. Not being a lodge member, I would imagine Belgravia would be speaking to the lodges as a group through your association or individually in the near future. Lets hope they don't shake things up too much, just a little stirring (not) perhaps ?
     
  28. Madski

    Madski Hard Yards

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    Maybe some of the other Resort Management Boards (Buller, Falls and Hotham) should look at doing something similar.

    Take Buller RMB for example there wage cost has increased $2.3M in 2007 to $3.7M in 2013 thats over a 50% increase in 6 years! What extra services or benefits has the mountain recieved for this dramtic increase.

    Just think of the savings that could be made if some of the marketing, maintenance operations, HR departments, environment, contract management etc if the management of the resorts were streamlined by either the lift companies taking over the management or 3rd parties like Belgravia running them.

    The savings could then be either put back into the mountains or lower site rentals rents etc
     
  29. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    I think we have to wait and see how Belgravia will tackle managing two resorts, but common sense would be to combine some services, such as administration and human resources, where feasible. I doubt any cost savings will be passed onto stake holders or customers as the resort has been running at a loss for years. More than likely they will either maintain the status quo for this year or increase fees and charges to try and claw back some money, after all, they will be aiming to make a profit at some stage in the future, and I am sure the 'fee for service' model will help that along. Having said that, I do believe with sensible and ethical management and significant investment, there is a real opportunity to make BB a jewel in the crown for Victoria. The possibilities are endless if one can think outside of the square and engage all stakeholders and people with true vision.
     
  30. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    The rentals are not so much of an issue, the cost of power at Mt Baw Baw is about to rise 12% to 97c/KWH, nearly 4x that of anyone connected to the national power grid. The running costs of a lodge are astronomical and climbing. SPI Ausnet will have free reign, to further pillage the stakeholders, for the power generation, without a concerned CEO representing our case. The Board really needs to let everyone know who will be the champion for the badly needed Capital Works Projects, or is just running the mountain cheaply their only concern. The safest and easiest driving South Face Road to the mountain top isn't even sealed. We are talking about a National Park, long been neglected by the State Government. A one off injection of funding to seal the road and bring in grid power would at least enable us to be able to be sustainable enterprises, equal to the other resorts, unlike Wonthaggi Lodge which recently handed over the keys. If the water storage capacity could be doubled, we would at least have a chance if installing more snowmaking, instead of being concerned about running out, just when things are looking good. A sealed South Face Road would be the widest, easiest and shortest tourist drive to the snowfields from Melbourne CBD. Surely a tourism goal waiting to be realized. All we are saying, is give BB a chance.
    (apologies for the cheesy pun)
     
  31. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    For BB to be a success, obviously it will need to rely heavily on snowmaking. It seems there are some significant hurdles in the way on that front.
     
  32. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snowmaking expansion is the only thing that will save the resort, if they fail to find the money/water/desire/power and dont expand the snowmaking coverage ( and quickly ) the resort is doomed.
    If they fiddle around the edges BB will last a little longer but ultimately it will fold if the enterprise cannot provide the fundamental base product people drive up there for and that is plain and simply snow.
    It they think otherwise and reckon a few summer activities will provide a profitable business then they are in big trouble.
    If you had a business up there I would be demanding to see a five year plan showing big investment in snowmaking if not ..............
     
  33. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    Too true Hunter
    Build it and they will come
    If we only had Kevin Costner on our side...
     
  34. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just look at Buller in the last 15 years
    They have been able to survive on the back of snowmaking, punters are willing to book knowing with confidence ( in nearly all but the most dire seasons ) that they will be able to provide the core terrain required to keep the kids happy first and foremost and just enough to hold the parents as well.
    If BB cannot secure the funds to do the same they are cactus, end of story
    It worries me when they float the summer trade balloon, summer trade is a crock to most a "SKI" Resorts, for Whistler yes, for Thredbo yes but for BB and most other Australian ski resorts.....I dont think so, at best any real profits are about one weekends snowmaking expenditure perhaps ? Who knows but either way a resort lives and dies on the snow experience.
    Would love to see a resort and come out and say, hands up summer trade is a distraction - we are closed over summer as we are flat out investing in the mouintain for the coming snow season.
     
  35. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Belgravia approximately doubled the snow making at LM last year. I think people are searching for objections.
     
  36. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Surely you have a number in m3/snow?

    I figure they need to produce 50,000m3/season minimum.
     
  37. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    Did they double the time spent snowmaking, or install double the snowmaking equipment installed, to make it happen ?

    BB could not have done any more snowmaking last year, every time the dew point fell low enough, the guns were going.
    Apparently they came close to emptying the tank more than once.
    Without a heap of new snow guns and water tanks, more snow is not possible. I don't believe a "fee for service" includes capital investment on the level required to make a big difference. I could be wrong of course.
     
  38. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    With about 6 wks until the opening of the snow season, we won't see any additional snow guns or anything else at this late stage. According to reports in the paper, Belgravia 'has been given a one year term to assess the operation and recommend changes, with an option to extend the arrangement' Additionally, they 'would look for ways to increase revenue and operate more efficiently'. I think as far as winter goes, all they can do is streamline staff and processess to try and save a dollar, and use that time to work out what they need for next year, such as what has been discussed above. As surfnski has pointed out, snowguns were going flat chat, but the weather simply did not cooperate, not allowing for a suitable snow base to form or even remain, the rain put a stop to that.
     
    Charlie likes this.
  39. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    They don't need or have 12mths to commit to more snowmaking. Even taking 12hrs is wasting 11.5hrs to make a decision that must be made.

    Only an idiot would delay this commitment in an aus resort.
     
  40. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    New snowguns.
     
  41. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    They claim 70,000m3 of snow per season.

    Whole place should have been 3m deep if true.

    People can't ski on bad maths.
     
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  42. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    Generally speaking 1mm rain = 1cm snow by volume so
    1mm rain over 1msq = 1L
    x 100cm to get 1m deep
    1m3 snow = 100L of water,
    70,000m3 snow = 7ML of water
    I dont think they could possibly have filled and used the tank 7x over
    i'm pretty sure the snowmaking water tank is only 1ML
    but i'm only going from memory
    (getting worse these days)
     
  43. Alkaros

    Alkaros Hard Yards

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  44. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Standard and accepted math for production estimation is 1m3 of water produces 2m3 of snow. 70,000m3 of snow would require 35,000m3 of water. A snow density of .5 is given as a constant.
     
  45. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ummm - snow melts and evaporates - sun, rain, wind etc all reduce the snow volume.
     
  46. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    that 35ML..!!!
    Talk about bad math crackson, you are kidding yourself if you thing water is only twice as dense as snow.
    Ive been watching snow reports following this for years, and 1mm rain = 10mm snow(1cm)
    you can check out wiki-answers which confirms what I always thought, its 1/10th density
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_...cle=How_much_snow_does_1_gallon_of_water_make
    or geography.com which says the same thing
    http://geography.about.com/library/faq/blqzsnowrain.htm
    or info.com
    http://topics.info.com/How-much-water-is-there-in-an-inch-of-snow_3038
    "Standard and accepted math" - what school did u go to?
     
  47. surfnski

    surfnski Hard Yards

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    I can add that this does vary, from wet snow at 1/5, and very dry snow to 1/15, the average is 1/10
     
  48. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    new terrain park with snowmaking
    This sends a positive vibe about new operators
     
  49. Serenity

    Serenity Hard Yards

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    I don't think the new operators had anything to do with it.
     
  50. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ik
    Imperial? Good one.