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Hully

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There was an article on Miss Snow it All facebook page today that the Eagle Chair redevelopment had go the go ahead. Falls Creek Resort replied that the rumor was true. The article says a high speed, detachable quad and I assume this will shift the alignment to that proposed in the strategic plan.
Probably the saddest part of this is that it is a $9M investment that adds minimum improvement to the ski area/experience. Essentially it is a $9M repair and maintenance investment to ensure reliability of Eagle and provide a backup to a 30yo Halleys/FEX. It doesn't open up or improve access to ski terrain, the current lift isn't looking for significant capacity improvement in the main and it isn't a 'ski run' lift as much as a ski area access lift.
I would have liked to have seen such a significant investment improve the ski offering not just be a like for (more modern) like replacement of what is already there. I suspect that for most the improvement will be 'meh'.
 

snowgum

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Thinking glass half full: this news is great for Falls. Eagle & Gully chairs have been the weak point in the Lift system for decades. Slow & uncomfortable & hence freezing in bad weather. No love lost here.

As for missed opportunities - that's debatable. Imagine loosing the chair (engine) early in the season just after a lift extension to say Rocky Knolls? We'd all be saying how irresponsible.

I dare say Merlin would need to have a long hard look at good old FEX soon - certainly before any far flung extensions. (Just my 2 c worth!)

Thinking Green Season - I'd imagine update detachables on Eagle & FEX would permit much easier and productive loading of walkers and mountain bikers. The latter will benefit big time if a decent chair runs more often and to the right locations. Perhaps this is part of the long term plan?

Hopefully the good stuff (extensions) will happen in time - I reckon strengthen the core (lifts) first. FWIW!
 
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currawong

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Probably the saddest part of this is that it is a $9M investment that adds minimum improvement to the ski area/experience. Essentially it is a $9M repair and maintenance investment to ensure reliability of Eagle and provide a backup to a 30yo Halleys/FEX. It doesn't open up or improve access to ski terrain, the current lift isn't looking for significant capacity improvement in the main and it isn't a 'ski run' lift as much as a ski area access lift.
I would have liked to have seen such a significant investment improve the ski offering not just be a like for (more modern) like replacement of what is already there. I suspect that for most the improvement will be 'meh'.
Hard to disagree, but OTOH it does need to be done.
Detach from the bowl should improve experience for families & beginners staying at that end of the village. Should take some pressure off halleys at busiest times too, improving things for people using that lift.
But it is disappointing that the first lift investment in so long doesn't deliver more.

I'm hoping that the same rationale that is replacing eagle may also lead to replacing gully but maybe with a realignment that makes connection with summit a bit easier.
 

currawong

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Thinking glass half full: this news is great for Falls. Eagle & Gully chairs have been the weak point in the Lift system for decades. Slow & uncomfortable & hence freezing in bad weather. No love lost here.

As for missed opportunities - that's debatable. Imagine loosing the chair (engine) early in the season just after a lift extension to say Rocky Knolls? We'd all be saying how irresponsible.

I dare say Merlin would need to have a long hard look at good old FEX soon - certainly before any far flung extensions. (Just my 2 c worth!)

Thinking Green Season - I'd imagine update detachables on Eagle & FEX would permit much easier and productive loading of walkers and mountain bikers. The latter will benefit big time if a decent chair runs more often and to the right locations. Perhaps this is part of the long term plan?

Hopefully the good stuff (extensions) will happen in time - I reckon strengthen the core (lifts) first. FWIW!
Nice sentiments but i doubt that fcsl has much interest in mtb or bushwalking and certainly not in adding lifted terrain until capacity demands it. Wish i was wrong

Otoh they are interested in improving snowmaking, eg cooling system to reduce water temperature feeding intto snowmaking and thus making smowmaking possible more often.
 
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emkae

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I'm hoping that the same rationale that is replacing eagle may also lead to replacing gully but maybe with a realignment that makes connection with summit a bit easier.

Some wishful thinking...

Just replace both Gully and Eagle with a single lift that has mid station load/unload (for Summit and Bowl access) and takes people to the top of current Eagle (if realignment not possible). Then you reduce load on Falls Express
 

snowgum

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Nice sentiments but i doubt that fcsl has much interest in mtb or bushwalking and certainly not in adding lifted terrain until capacity demands it. Wish i was wrong

Otoh they are interested in improving snowmaking, eg cooling system to reduce water temperature feeding intto snowmaking and thus making smowmaking possible more often.


Actually, improved SMing would be another big win. I still believe Falls bowl north side would improve dramatically with carefully placed, selected (& used) SM.

What lets Falls down in poor years, early and late season is access to anything really challenging such as what the summit area provides in good cover. Not sure that several days lapping Scotts & RC cuts the mustard?

Now many folks indicated here & elsewhere that the summit / bowl is "too north-facing" and not feasible.
But I think Broadway/Wombats etc... (Plus Shaky Knees/ Burnt Hut at Buller) have shown that SM can work on 'lowish' elevation - northish runs.

In addition, take the area between the summit chair & the old village T Bar - it's pretty much due east at that point, giving any snow made a fighting chance. Add to this the returning tree cover from fires past, perhaps planted trees (like the Crackenback Run works St Thredders) and snow fences and perhaps add a Slushpuppy au' Buller and it 'could' work? Some well positioned gauges to test solar radiation (heliograph?) /melt rate may help test this theory.

SM in HV at Hotham has really changed (improved) the mountain. Despite the challenging geography (orientation) I think Falls would do well to consider what new SM technology could do to improve skiing in the bowl/summit area. A much neglected part of Falls IMO - with a lot of potential.
 

Ziggy

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For my money the next bottleneck to deal with at Falls is Towers.

It gets bunches of lesson people including kids that slow the loading and raise the red button rate.
 

currawong

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Actually, improved SMing would be another big win. I still believe Falls bowl north side would improve dramatically with carefully placed, selected (& used) SM.

What lets Falls down in poor years, early and late season is access to anything really challenging such as what the summit area provides in good cover. Not sure that several days lapping Scotts & RC cuts the mustard?

Now many folks indicated here & elsewhere that the summit / bowl is "too north-facing" and not feasible.
But I think Broadway/Wombats etc... (Plus Shaky Knees/ Burnt Hut at Buller) have shown that SM can work on 'lowish' elevation - northish runs.

In addition, take the area between the summit chair & the old village T Bar - it's pretty much due east at that point, giving any snow made a fighting chance. Add to this the returning tree cover from fires past, perhaps planted trees (like the Crackenback Run works St Thredders) and snow fences and perhaps add a Slushpuppy au' Buller and it 'could' work? Some well positioned gauges to test solar radiation (heliograph?) /melt rate may help test this theory.

SM in HV at Hotham has really changed (improved) the mountain. Despite the challenging geography (orientation) I think Falls would do well to consider what new SM technology could do to improve skiing in the bowl/summit area. A much neglected part of Falls IMO - with a lot of potential.
All true. For many years FCSL hasn't shown interest in investment for advanced skiers. Maybe this could change with new ceo seeing how good summit/inter can be. Sadly i doubt that much will change. Snowmaking improvements are likely to target existing snowmaking areas ratther than increase the terrain covered
 
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currawong

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For my money the next bottleneck to deal with at Falls is Towers.

It gets bunches of lesson people including kids that slow the loading and raise the red button rate.
What do you think they could do about it?

I would normally avoid towers in lesson times, except perhaps for rapunzels/quartz ridge. I'm struggling to think what they could do to fix the congestion on highway 83 or the beginner fumbles at load/unload. Of course replacing lakeside with a chair would be nice (maybe load a bit closer to towers) but i don't think it addresses the isues you raise
 

Ziggy

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Dunno curra. 6 seater? Moving carpet quad like Ruined?

What has been useful is the addition over the last few years of groomed links between more runs on that side. Helps even out the load.
 
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currawong

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IMHO carpet is more difficult for beginners. It should be idiot proof but from observing ruined I think it just breeds a better idiot.

FCSL can't get people to fill a quad. hate to think what a 6 pack would be like. and more people going up per hour = more people clogging up the runs
 

Scott No Mates

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FCSL can't get people to fill a quad. hate to think what a 6 pack would be like. and more people going up per hour = more people clogging up the runs

6 pack the FX/Halleys (needs new sheds, turntables etc so not quite viable), cut a few runs back to Windy Corner and add a new lift for this side of the hill.
view

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Ziggy

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Quads are filled when a green jacket is moving people up.

When that's not happening enough skiers who don't want to rub shoulders with a stranger hold back and leave gaps. A 6 seat means less shoulder rubbing.

Standing in a queue isn't exactly an optimal solution to slope crowding.
 

currawong

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Change to resort entry fees for Falls. The given reason is simplification and making it less confusing.
Main changes:
  • There will no longer be a difference between Day and Night passes. (Although on arrival guests will still park in a day car park if not staying overnight.) This is a big source of questions to the Visitor Information Centre.
  • There will no longer be a reduced rate for arrival between 1-4pm.
  • If a visitor is arriving after 3pm on their first day of a multi day visit (2 nights or more staying in the resort) the rest of the day is complimentary. (This matches Falls Creek Ski Lifts offer of skiing for free after 3pm on the first day arrival of a multi pass purchase).
What remains the same:
  • Visitors can still arrive from 5pm for dinner, night skiing and night show at no charge, as long as they depart by 12am.
Not sure why they would get rid of the after 1pm concession. On the weekends there can be a shortage of car parks. Encouraging snowplayers to come in the afternoon would have been a good thing. Lots used to arrive and take spots vacated by xc skiers. This change would seem to make parking problems worse
 
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currawong

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new FCRMB announced

on Northern Alps board as well as FC
Michelle Croughan
Sue Lebish - current FCRMB chair
Helen Moran
Peter Valerio

FCRMB Chair
Jo Shannon - previously a very capable manager at FCRMB. Long time FC skier (if you count tele). Currently Director Community & Corporate Services at Towong Shire Council

Others
Jason Alexandra
Lindy Allen
 
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Bogong

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www.australianmountains.com
You know, I sort of liked the over used, slightly run down look and vibe of the Frying Pan. It's been around for ever and its atmosphere reflects that.

Not that I'm knocking luxury, I like that too, each has its place. But I have such good memories of the venerable Frying Pan and I hoped that its eclectic atmosphere would survive. So I'm slightly saddened it will be transformed into just another generic flash eatery with no dents in the walls, no disjointed interior reflecting past alterations and no real atmosphere.
 

currawong

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I'm a bit worried about Gateway Cafe. Word is that new owners tried to renovate the public day shelter part of the building as well - against the terms of the lease. Sounds like things are stalled. Just hoping that the day shelter, if not the cafe, is sorted very quickly.
 

currawong

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snowgum

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About time C9 was updated.
Must be 30 plus years with little upgrade.

FPan area deserves a decent bdg but I guess any upgrade helps.

Falls has played little bro to Hotham for a long while (96 when Orchard opened...?)

Hopefully these & Eagle is the start of something. Maybe the return of a beginner lifts in the bowl would help. Plus my fav - T-b snowmaking under the lights on summit.

As for year round opening of C9 - this such a no brainer it should have been done from the start! All those summer visitors - nothing open up top! Next step would b updating Falls Xprs and running through peak hols for mtn bikes & tourists. Eagle too??

Now you have a real 4 season resort!
 

Moondog55

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I've always thought that the best thing the lift company could do was to install that white synthetic honeycomb cell carpet on all the patches that run bare when the snow gets a little warm and slushy, such as the bottom of Wombats, nothing ruins my day faster than having to squelch the last 100 metres of a run thru warm brown porridge or gravel filled bitumen and there are several corners and junctions that suffer the same problem. Also I hate pomas, but that is due to the way they press on a nerve in my thighs and almost paralyse me so more majik carpet in the beginners/training areas
 

Bogong

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...Now you have a real 4 season resort!
Well not quite. Actually not by a long way.

While Falls in many ways has the best potential in Australia to be a year round mountain resort, it lacks quite a lot from the visitors point of view.
Practical things that could be done to realise that potential include:
  • Hiring a track development and historical interpretation person on a multi year programme, to do something like Andrew Swift did at Hotham AND give the programme the budget to build tracks, produce interpretive material and promote the place in summer.
  • Improve altitude training facilities for sports people. Groups ranging from casual joggers to footy teams to elite athletes preparing for international competitions already stay at Falls to improve their fitness in the thinner air. The undulating nature of the area is a strong contrast to the steepness of Hotham or Buller (or the low altitude of Thredbo township) and you see them training in places ranging from local streets, to the Langford aqueducts, to the Nelse 4WD road. But there's a shortage of the sort of facilities they need. Okay there are small gymnasiums in a few lodges and a couple of places have small indoor pools, but more is needed to attract large numbers of cashed up sporty types or super cashed up footy and summer Olympic teams. In an ideal world perhaps the state government could build a 50 metre pool and gym complex (like the one at Thredbo) by diverting a small portion of the $34 million they're proposing to spend on rerouting the walking track to Hotham. It would do a lot more for the local economy.
  • Ensuring that a shop selling basics and at least one cafe is open for lunch and two places are open for dinner on all weekends and every day between 26 December and Australia Day, plus long weekends like Cup Weekend, Labor Day and Easter. It's been my experience running summer tours at Falls that people are understandably unhappy if they don't have a couple of choices where to eat out and the nearest general store is at Mt Beauty. Perhaps the RMB could underwrite this by offering to cover any losses up to a couple of hundred dollars per day?
  • Several other initiatives that I don't recall at the moment, but that I may add to this list later. EDIT especially Moondog's suggestion of improved boating facilities.
Essentially, Falls has the greatest potential to be a year round mountain resort, but so far it has largely failed at realising that potential.
 
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Moondog55

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I said what Bogong just said 25 years ago and nobody listened then either; add in a summer campground, better canoe and sailing boat launching facilities with jetty and get the BBQ and picnic facilities that the SEC removed 40 years ago replaced and get more bloody toilets opened around the place, especially wheelchair and disabled access toilets
 
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Chaeron

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AFAIK the Nordic Bowl development plans for green season sports training facilities including the reconfiguration of the facilities at Windy Corner hasn’t been sidelined as yet and is still in the offing - X-country nordic types could confirm either way as the initial planning was done in consultation with them.
 

currawong

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AFAIK the Nordic Bowl development plans for green season sports training facilities including the reconfiguration of the facilities at Windy Corner hasn’t been sidelined as yet and is still in the offing - X-country nordic types could confirm either way as the initial planning was done in consultation with them.
My understanding is that one purpose of the master plan (most important?) is to have projects ready to go when funding becomes available, and to help secure that funding. So not proceeding only means funding not yet available, not a change of heart.
My understanding is that the nordic bowl changes are among the most likely things in the masterplan and supported by most of the xc community
 
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snowgum

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Hi Currawong, have you hog a recent link to the relevant doc. I can't remember the exact details of the Nordic Bowl/ Windy Corner Plan. I thought the Bowl was going to be set up for footy teams etc...?

Not sure about winter changes??
 

Moondog55

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I remember the CocaCola Falls Creek Rush etc, windsurfing on the lake and people with VJs and 505s sailing/yachting. It's progress but a lot of fun seems to have left the village as it has become so much more commercial and more and more a place for "Rich" people with deep pockets and fat wallets.
I was a bushwalker on skis long before I became a skier who camps out so I do admit a huge prejudice in favour of the old Falls Creek that seemed to be a lot more back country friendly
Even fishing on the lake seems to have gone downhill rapidly and that could be fixed with a D3 and some effort to make perched dams on the lakeside edges
 

currawong

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Hi Currawong, have you hog a recent link to the relevant doc. I can't remember the exact details of the Nordic Bowl/ Windy Corner Plan. I thought the Bowl was going to be set up for footy teams etc...?

Not sure about winter changes??
Overview in P38 of this doc.
https://www.fallscreek.com.au/wp-co...s-Creek-Resort-Master-Plan-2016_final_web.pdf

I think I've seen something more detailed but not sure where. XC race community at Falls are very positive about the plan. It is expected to enhance not wreck XC.
 
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Moondog55

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I just glanced at Pp38 Looks pretty but will the power company be happy giving up the site? As far as I was aware that area is not part of the ski lease area at all but part of the power company easements
 

currawong

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I remember the CocaCola Falls Creek Rush etc, windsurfing on the lake and people with VJs and 505s sailing/yachting. It's progress but a lot of fun seems to have left the village as it has become so much more commercial and more and more a place for "Rich" people with deep pockets and fat wallets.
I was a bushwalker on skis long before I became a skier who camps out so I do admit a huge prejudice in favour of the old Falls Creek that seemed to be a lot more back country friendly
Even fishing on the lake seems to have gone downhill rapidly and that could be fixed with a D3 and some effort to make perched dams on the lakeside edges
Summer at Falls is bigger than it ever was. Last season there was kayak and small sailing dingy hire all January. The social club also have yachts out quite often. Eating places were open all Jan and some did weekend till about Easter.
MTBing is huge. You don't have to pay. Lots of people do their own car shuttles, although this got quite dangerous at peak times and might need to be controlled at times.
Summer accommodation can be quite cheap, especially at clubs.
The social club is rejuvenated and putting on things for locals, some of which are open to visitors. Even where they are not, they have lifted the vibe and made the place more fun for everyone.

I'd be interested in why you think it is less BC friendly. I haven't noticed that (except that XC skiers can't get a walker's chairlift ticket, but that has been the case for a very long time)
 

Moondog55

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I'd be interested in why you think it is less BC friendly. I haven't noticed that (except that XC skiers can't get a walker's chairlift ticket, but that has been the case for a very long time)
Well that for a start but I accept that restriction, more the fact that even to I did not ski last season I was up there with young family and we were made to take off our snowshoes to ride the lift up to FP station, something I have been doing for over 20 years with kids, both my own and now the Grandkids, no big crowds or queue that day either. lifties said Merlin had a change of policy and did apologise as they recognised me from seasons past
 

mick chopps

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Well that for a start but I accept that restriction, more the fact that even to I did not ski last season I was up there with young family and we were made to take off our snowshoes to ride the lift up to FP station, something I have been doing for over 20 years with kids, both my own and now the Grandkids, no big crowds or queue that day either. lifties said Merlin had a change of policy and did apologise as they recognised me from seasons past
Suspect that’s been a thing for a couple of seasons, couple of my mates have been told to do that in the past.
 

currawong

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I just glanced at Pp38 Looks pretty but will the power company be happy giving up the site? As far as I was aware that area is not part of the ski lease area at all but part of the power company easements
Not an expert on this but I'm pretty sure the nordic bowl and boat ramp areas are part of the resort. The later was added fairly recently and a bit of resort land near the penstocks was given to parks in return . Not sure where AGL border is - maybe "high tide" line.

My very good source tells me that the nordic bowl project is shovel ready, just waiting for funding.
 
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Tom from Melbourne

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Unfortunately no more half day lessons for 6-17 year olds, which is a shame, as it worked for us.

I couldn't find the lessons in the new online store, so sent a query and got the response below:

"This year, our ski school lessons have slightly changed, and we no longer have half days available for children 6-17 years old. Full day lessons are the only option within this age bracket. Please keep in mind the lesson package includes your lift ticket, lesson and lunch as well."

I'm guessing they weren't that popular, or more likely that they couldn't get enough numbers for the afternoon sessions, so more efficient to cancel the offering.
 

Xplora

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Noticed Gateway has a new sign (and name) Hopefully still does the same good stuff. Summer eating in Falls was not always great. Lunch only is all I can speak to. Had to put up with a bowl of stinky fries at Milche once as there was nothing else. Will never go back to Stingray and with the Gateway shut there was little choice. Unless Falls does food good in summer it will never be accepted as a summer destination. 36 places open now for food and drink. The MTB are doing their own thing with basic food and coffee but only on weekends and holidays. I do hope Falls can get things together because it is such a great summer area and there is money there to be had from tourists. Forget about the past and look to the future. Only BC trips around Falls from now for us as I suspect the RMB will force the illegal road closure of BHP again after this weekend. That is really annoying and they have no right to close the national park or BHP road especially when there is no snow. A few years back I recall they locked the Trapyard gap gate and then left the Rocky dam gate open because there was no snow so the resort goers could meander on foot in the park. Bugger anyone coming from the other side. Still got hope for another walk before a ski. Tried last Thursday but the weather closed in. Maybe we could just ride the bikes in for lunch. Hope your winter is a good one.
 

currawong

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Noticed Gateway has a new sign (and name) Hopefully still does the same good stuff. Summer eating in Falls was not always great. Lunch only is all I can speak to. Had to put up with a bowl of stinky fries at Milche once as there was nothing else. Will never go back to Stingray and with the Gateway shut there was little choice. Unless Falls does food good in summer it will never be accepted as a summer destination. 36 places open now for food and drink. The MTB are doing their own thing with basic food and coffee but only on weekends and holidays. I do hope Falls can get things together because it is such a great summer area and there is money there to be had from tourists. Forget about the past and look to the future.
I don't think the new owners intend opening in summer. Hope I'm wrong.
Be Food in the bowl was open during the day all January and about 4 days a week? till about Easter. AIUI they want to make sure there is food available for people staying in their apartments. More choices in Jan than quieter times.
Supermarket has pies & sausage rolls
Would be great to see businesses open during summer, but without some financial incentive it's hard to see how

Only BC trips around Falls from now for us as I suspect the RMB will force the illegal road closure of BHP again after this weekend. That is really annoying and they have no right to close the national park or BHP road especially when there is no snow. A few years back I recall they locked the Trapyard gap gate and then left the Rocky dam gate open because there was no snow so the resort goers could meander on foot in the park. Bugger anyone coming from the other side. Still got hope for another walk before a ski. Tried last Thursday but the weather closed in. Maybe we could just ride the bikes in for lunch. Hope your winter is a good one.
bit rough IMHO
I doubt that it has anything to do with parking fees as you implied in the other thread. Unlike KNP cars don't have to stop at the gate anyway; pre-purchase is encouraged. Enforcement is mainly by ranger patrols.
I think it's a balancing act between safety and guest access when there is no or limited skiable snow. The road was open on QBW but has been closed with the expectation of significant snowfall. No one is going to pay to clear the road now till after the season. There have been some very nasty incidents in the past with people trying to drive across BHP and getting stuck in drifts. I think the balance is probably about right
 

Xplora

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Snow is down to about 1300 now and this looks to be enough for a season opener. I have no issue with the road being closed when it is dangerous but the RMB has two standards. Outside the declared season it does not really care and waits for the snow to cause a problem. After the season is declared the road is closed when there is no snow and the excuse is snow is on the way. Now all is good but PV in Mt. Beauty should be consulted and all the spots off the road have to be cleared. The obvious spots along the road where cars park are easy but there are 5 which require a drive in and one is a 4wd only. Often early snow will clear on its own and again the road should open. Perhaps one day things will change when there is no snow until mid July. My argument is with the lack of consultation and also no legislative authority to close a road or a national park. The RMB should not dictate on matters it has no authority over but it could ask. That would be polite at least.
 

TinkyH23

One of Us
Jul 12, 2008
442
548
263
Macedon Ranges, Victoria
RE: snow cams. Slalom plaza 1 and slalom plaza 2 have been showing the same image all week, about a minute apart. Wondering why SP2 isn't showing the bend up near Last Hoot any more???
 

Chaeron

Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak
Ski Pass
Jun 24, 2014
7,396
13,830
563
Dandenong Ranges
“WIN A SEASON PASS FOR THE 2019 SEASON!

We hope you had a great time and experienced the very best Falls Creek has to offer.

We'd love to hear what you enjoyed most about Falls Creek and learn what else we can do to improve your holiday experience. Please share your thoughts with us via the short survey below.

All completed surveys will go into the draw to win a season pass for the 2019 snow season. We'll be drawing a winner every month until the end of the season so get your survey completed for your chance to win!


COMPLETE SURVEY .”

You will need a FC account to log in & do the survey.

Disclaimer - posting off my own bat, no link to FC except as a frequent visitor with a Hero Pass.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
41,297
32,438
1,563
Kiewa Valley
“WIN A SEASON PASS FOR THE 2019 SEASON!

We hope you had a great time and experienced the very best Falls Creek has to offer.

We'd love to hear what you enjoyed most about Falls Creek and learn what else we can do to improve your holiday experience. Please share your thoughts with us via the short survey below.

All completed surveys will go into the draw to win a season pass for the 2019 snow season. We'll be drawing a winner every month until the end of the season so get your survey completed for your chance to win!


COMPLETE SURVEY .”

You will need a FC account to log in & do the survey.

Disclaimer - posting off my own bat, no link to FC except as a frequent visitor with a Hero Pass.
is it a lift pass or a resort entry pass?
 
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