Opinion Falls Creek - Bouquets and Brickbats

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,337
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Kiewa Valley
It's been a difficult start to the season. At Falls somethings have been done well and some not. There is no point blaming anyone for the weather (lack of natural snow, wind, poor visibility) . Resort management (FCRM) and the lift company (FCSL) can take credit and blame for other aspects

Bouquets
FCSL keeping main street and wombats open just with snowmaking
FCSL for opening lifts at 7:30 during the hectic 2nd week of Vic holidays
FCRM for starting shuttles at 7:30 to support the early lift opening. But brickbats for taking 2 days to do it.
FCSL for making a small park on nastar to add a extra activity without significantly reducing ski area
FCSL and FCRM for cooperating to make some snow available for elite xc training
FCSL morning marketing emails for a giggle
Husky for some great tucker

Brickbats
FCRM not getting season entry passes out in time
FCSL for not running gully during school holidays. That would have helped relieve shuttle wait times immensely. It would also have encouraged people to get out and about in the village knowing that they could easily walk down hill but have a chair for much of the up hill
FCRM for not making sure that gully ran (by subsidising if necessary) and putting on a normal bus to to shuttle between gully and express
FCRM and FCSL for ridiculously over-hyping snowfalls
FCRM for not having the capability to do any xc grooming after the over-hyped snow fall
Stingray for starting the day with no sugar for my coffee

That's enough for a start
 

Bluebird

One of Us
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Jul 16, 2013
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Bouquet for the shuttle bus drivers - I was up over the middle weekend of the holidays, so crowded, lots of kids and families etc. These guys (and a lady!) were always smiling, friendly, polite and talkative; even late in the day when people were tired, cold and sick of waiting in long queues for buses!
 
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Beerman

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jan 15, 2015
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Brisvegas
We were there Tues 8th-Sun 12th.

Bouquets
Most staff with their helpfulness and attitude
Huey for blessing our timing, and forecasters for advising of imminent white stuff (in Jane we trust)
FCSL - FCRM for free night skiing on Wed 9th
FCRM for fireworks at the bowl Thurs 10th

Brickbats
FCSL for charging full price when only approx 35% lifts open
FCSL for not offering a half price day ticket. $20 off does not cut it.
FCSL for not opening Gully chair as already mentioned
 

Hully

One of Us
May 6, 2004
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Kiewa Valley
We were there Tues 8th-Sun 12th.

Bouquets
Most staff with their helpfulness and attitude
Huey for blessing our timing, and forecasters for advising of imminent white stuff (in Jane we trust)
FCSL - FCRM for free night skiing on Wed 9th
FCRM for fireworks at the bowl Thurs 10th

Brickbats
FCSL for charging full price when only approx 35% lifts open
FCSL for not offering a half price day ticket. $20 off does not cut it.
FCSL for not opening Gully chair as already mentioned

Night skiing and fireworks are FCSL provided and funded.
 

Hully

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May 6, 2004
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I have to advise against anybody directing criticism at FCRM, and in particular their Marketing Department.

Fortunately FCSL does have a culture of taking on board feedback.
 
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Bluebird

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Jul 16, 2013
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Brickbats
FCSL for charging full price when only approx 35% lifts open
FCSL for not offering a half price day ticket. $20 off does not cut it.
The lift ticket price was outrageous given the limited terrain available! I was up 3rd-7th and paid full price for what was essentially three lifts and three trails.
 
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BillyKidd

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Jul 11, 2010
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The lift ticket price was outrageous given the limited terrain available! I was up 3rd-7th and paid full price for what was essentially three lifts and three trails.


Completely agree. You could live with the usual cock-ups given Merlin are new'ish and will repeat the mistakes (unfortunately)...or just not think so as to avoid them....but the two key problems - and they have always been so - overhyping of snow falls (even to the point of misrepresenting as has happened in years past) and ticket prices when there are f*ck all runs and lifts operating. A pro rata would be fair and reasonable - the gouging though just makes people's minds up for them to head off-shore and grab much better value.

Just on the snowfall discussion - when we were opening up at the beginning of the season we never counted on June but could almost always be certain of snow cover by the first week in July. The season seems to be kicking in later and certainly finishing earlier, and has done for some years now. That reduction in available (reliable) trading weeks has not been met with alternative income stream development (though the lodges, lifts and businesses still want to charge full tote odds).

And some lodges hurting now with new beds having been opened further round the hill and away from the bowl, transferring occupancy away. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of that is...
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,337
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Kiewa Valley
my guess is twofold
  • takes a bit of work, and snow depth, to make the track
  • the resort is not normally very busy between end of Vic holidays and start of August so the lift company don't give a lot of priority to Lakeside since it increases costs but doesn't actually open up a lot of new terrain

but I love lakeside and dearly wish they would get on with it
 
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BilbyBill

One of Us
Apr 27, 2001
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Tawonga, Australia.
From the Falls Creek web site .."Falls Creek is known as the home of Australian Cross Country Skiing for good reason. Not only is it home base for the Australian National Team but it also has one of the most expansive trail networks of any resort in the country."

Checking the official snow report page this morning I saw that it had not been updated since 15th July, and it indicated that there was only 6.4km of trails last groomed, on the 14th July.

Despite this rather underwhelming report, we headed up to see for ourselves. Checking in at the Falls YMCA Nordic Centre at 11.30am we were told that the groomer had not been out. We did find a Nordic Grooming report displayed in the shelter, however we noted that it was dated August 2014.

Heading out we found the cross country trails had quite a nice depth of snow, but there was little evidence of recent grooming with a lot of wind blown snow in many places. After an hour of floundering around we decided to call it a day, and headed back to windy corner, passing the groomer as it headed out to begin grooming for the day at about 12.30pm.

Overall not a great experience in the "Home of Australian Cross Country Skiing".

It would be nice if Falls Creek Management were to ensure that there was an up to date grooming report available early in the day, the same as the downhill grooming report.

It would also be nice if the Falls Creek Nordic centre would display in a prominent place up to date grooming reports so that skiers could plan their day before leaving the shelter, and not have to go out and find the groomed trails for themselves.
 

Apresski

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Jun 18, 2007
49,195
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Melbourne
From the Falls Creek web site .."Falls Creek is known as the home of Australian Cross Country Skiing for good reason. Not only is it home base for the Australian National Team but it also has one of the most expansive trail networks of any resort in the country."

Checking the official snow report page this morning I saw that it had not been updated since 15th July, and it indicated that there was only 6.4km of trails last groomed, on the 14th July.

Despite this rather underwhelming report, we headed up to see for ourselves. Checking in at the Falls YMCA Nordic Centre at 11.30am we were told that the groomer had not been out. We did find a Nordic Grooming report displayed in the shelter, however we noted that it was dated August 2014.

Heading out we found the cross country trails had quite a nice depth of snow, but there was little evidence of recent grooming with a lot of wind blown snow in many places. After an hour of floundering around we decided to call it a day, and headed back to windy corner, passing the groomer as it headed out to begin grooming for the day at about 12.30pm.

Overall not a great experience in the "Home of Australian Cross Country Skiing".

It would be nice if Falls Creek Management were to ensure that there was an up to date grooming report available early in the day, the same as the downhill grooming report.

It would also be nice if the Falls Creek Nordic centre would display in a prominent place up to date grooming reports so that skiers could plan their day before leaving the shelter, and not have to go out and find the groomed trails for themselves.
Hopefully FCRM read this site.
 
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Sadie

Chk Chk Boom
Moderator
Ski Pass
Aug 31, 2001
13,339
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Brickbats to the lifties that are screaming their heads off at people to put the safety bar down before they have even touched their bums on the seat! FFS shut up!
Brickbats to the stopping of the chairs so often.
Brickbats to the dismal orchestrating at the bottom of Towers. They really have no idea how to get people in fours.
 

Conners

One of Us
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Jun 27, 2013
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South Coast SA
Brickbats to the lifties that are screaming their heads off at people to put the safety bar down before they have even touched their bums on the seat! FFS shut up!
Brickbats to the stopping of the chairs so often.
Brickbats to the dismal orchestrating at the bottom of Towers. They really have no idea how to get people in fours.
^^ This
I can appreciate what they are trying to do at falls express to get people up the hill. But when people are already standing on the back of my skis F off
 
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Scott No Mates

One of Us
Sep 14, 2003
3,559
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Sydney - LNS
Brickbats to the stopping of the chairs so often.
Brickbats to the dismal orchestrating at the bottom of Towers. They really have no idea how to get people in fours.
.
Saw a person fall off the top of drovers because they'd raised the bar prematurely 2 weeks ago. Lifties to the rescue. :thumbs:

A bit more coraling the sheep in peak periods wouldn't go astray but once you've done it people remember how to form 4's for mext time.:eek:

Don't be a chair snob - if there's a group of two or 3 ahead move up and meet a few new people - not all boarders bite nor do all skiers smell. :deadhorse:

Remember the lift only goes to one place, the top. Break up and move forward peoples.
 
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Sadie

Chk Chk Boom
Moderator
Ski Pass
Aug 31, 2001
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We noticed that they have moved the "raise safety bar" signs closer to the unload.

The lifties do not need to stop the lift for a dropped stock though. With four lifties at the bottom, one should be able to quickly grab it and send it up on the next chair.

The orchestrating was terrible. Everyone was making fours better than what they were trying to do. I think they need to do a few shifts at BB1 at Buller to learn how it's done. It goes something along the lines of "You, you, you and you..Are you a four? No? You are now."
 

Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
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Yeah. On some occasions, absent lifty organising, I've gone around a queue of 2s and 3s abreast to make up a foursome.

Often strike up an interesting conversation then too.
 

bdenny4

One of Us
Jun 28, 2008
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Seen it at Hotham @ Heavenly load - takes ski patrol to go there and actually direct traffic.
Peeps pay attention to ski patrol / mountain ops rather than pimply faced lefties.
Not saying its right.....but it's what happens
 

Hully

One of Us
May 6, 2004
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I have to advise against anybody directing criticism at FCRM, and in particular their Marketing Department.

Fortunately FCSL does have a culture of taking on board feedback.

Interesting write by the new FCRM CEO in the local 'What's Happening' publication this week, inviting feedback and 'justified' criticism. This is a significant change from the previous regime....bouquet to him for this attitude. This forum is referred to and @Apresski gets an individual reference.
 

Apresski

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Jun 18, 2007
49,195
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Melbourne
Interesting write by the new FCRM CEO in the local 'What's Happening' publication this week, inviting feedback and 'justified' criticism. This is a significant change from the previous regime....bouquet to him for this attitude. This forum is referred to and @Apresski gets an individual reference.
Really, with regard to what?
 

Bluebird

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 16, 2013
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Interesting write by the new FCRM CEO in the local 'What's Happening' publication this week, inviting feedback and 'justified' criticism. This is a significant change from the previous regime....bouquet to him for this attitude. This forum is referred to and @Apresski gets an individual reference.
Would it be possible to post the article? I'd be interested in reading it!
 

Hully

One of Us
May 6, 2004
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Think that is the previous weeks. I will put the text up later. Going skiing now! :)

"FROM THE CEO ... We welcome your input, your constructive contribution, criticism too (when legitimately reasonable) and suggestions - and yes 'Apres Ski' WE DO read the ski forums! ..."

This is a very significant, and welcome, change from the previous CEO (and his minions) who treated feedback, suggestions and the slightest hint of criticism with contempt and bullying. Full credit to Stuart for this change in approach and I hope that he is fully supported by the Board as he drives this much needed organisation cultural change.

Maybe they will even look at open contribution to the forum.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,337
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Kiewa Valley
brickbats to FCRM for not getting this morning's snow report online until 9:30ish

everything else about today was perfect
 
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Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
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Well, it's a start. But only 'legitimately reasonable' criticism .... ? My reply is this: it's all data. Think about what it means and save judgment for later.
 

BillyKidd

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2010
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Interesting write by the new FCRM CEO in the local 'What's Happening' publication this week, inviting feedback and 'justified' criticism. This is a significant change from the previous regime....bouquet to him for this attitude. This forum is referred to and @Apresski gets an individual reference.


All he has to do is read through all the relevant ski.com.au forums over the years - the resource is right here - and hey'd et a very good idea of what people are up for and what they are not. 'Course that would take some effort on the part of FCRM but one lives in hope.
 
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Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
9,730
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To return to curra's OP, I absolutely agree that the daily email newsletters are a gem.

If I hadn't already made commitments I would've been up on the mountain by now.
 
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Nordic Skier

Hard Yards
Aug 26, 2008
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Mount Beauty
Group Bouquet - to all previous users of this forum for participating in a more direct social media feedback system, that can allow all and sundry including the FCRM and even other ski resorts on issues of concern or appreciation by the resort users. As BillyKidd says "...read through all the relevant ski.com.au forums over the years - the resource is right here - and they'd have a very good idea of what people are up for and what they are not..."
 

Hully

One of Us
May 6, 2004
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The new large digital information signs on the road are useless if their message is not kept up to date. Heading up just before 10am today the sign at the 'orange bridge' said fitting chains at the nursery. By this time of the morning chains were actually being fitted kms up the road at Howman's Gap. Leaving just after 2pm the outbound sign at Gateway said that chains needed to be fitted or 4WD engaged...at this time the road was black and wet (no ice) all the way to Mt Beauty and no chains were being fitted. The sign at the 'orange bridge' still said fitting chains at the nursery. I am sure they are being lauded as a great improvement in road safety information, however, they should be turned off (or removed and money saved) if information they communicate is incorrect.
 

Nordic Skier

Hard Yards
Aug 26, 2008
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Mount Beauty
And who knows where the Nursery is (was!). A remote system with Info Board at Mt Beauty exiting pull off bay, and Falls Creek exit that can be activated at Mt Beauty, Bogong Village, Overtaking Lanes, Howmans Gap, Falls Creek village would work. Why have old style manual signage in these modern times?
 

BilbyBill

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And who knows where the Nursery is (was!). A remote system with Info Board at Mt Beauty exiting pull off bay, and Falls Creek exit that can be activated at Mt Beauty, Bogong Village, Overtaking Lanes, Howmans Gap, Falls Creek village would work. Why have old style manual signage in these modern times?
But then someone would have to push the buttons to change the signs. The set and forget method for resort information would have to change. Too hard.
 

Sadie

Chk Chk Boom
Moderator
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Aug 31, 2001
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Another whinge - Guest services need to get out there and tell people to move away from the unload area of the lift at Towers (and every other lift). It is one of the reasons it stops so much. People come off the lift with no where to go and crash like a pile of dominoes.

I hate whinging so much as I really do love FC.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
42,337
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Kiewa Valley
Picking up on what @Hully and @BilbyBill said about signs...
Brickbats to FCRM for leaving 40 kph signs up around inactive chain bats. Today they were even being displayed on the only overtaking lane on the whole road. :doh:
 
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chriscross

One of Us
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Jul 1, 2005
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Have to say that the new head honcho got seriously proactive when he heard about my difficulties with the All Resorts Pass. A very good outcome, with minimal discussion. Keep the customer satisfied sounds like the philosophy. Very impressed and couldn't agree more. Can't wait to get up there.
 

cqen2l

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Feb 7, 2003
14,387
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Northern Beaches
Another whinge - Guest services need to get out there and tell people to move away from the unload area of the lift at Towers (and every other lift). It is one of the reasons it stops so much. People come off the lift with no where to go and crash like a pile of dominoes.

I hate whinging so much as I really do love FC.
Hmmmm....would these punters clogging the unload areas happen to be people sitting on their arses whilst strapping boards to their feet? Someone needs to come up with a solution. Ban them all together? Or get a effing solution for attaching boarders to boards.
 

Bluebird

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Jul 16, 2013
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Another whinge - Guest services need to get out there and tell people to move away from the unload area of the lift at Towers (and every other lift). It is one of the reasons it stops so much. People come off the lift with no where to go and crash like a pile of dominoes.

I hate whinging so much as I really do love FC.
They were really proactive with this during the school holidays, shame to see they've dropped off with it now.
 
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