False Advertising and promotion by Falls Creek

BrumbyJack

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FALLS CREEK – THE ADVANTAGES
Set high in the Australian Alps in North East Victoria, Falls Creek Alpine Resort is
enveloped by some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery and some of the nation’s best
skiing terrain.
The resort has always had an enviable reputation for the best and most consistent
snowfalls, which has been enhanced by our snowmaking capabilities.
Renowned for its unique village atmosphere and variety of ski runs, Falls Creek is the
only true ski-in, ski-out alpine resort in Australia
where you can ski right from your door to
the slopes and back again in normal snow conditions.

While I'm at it... Can something be done about this blatant bullcrap???

I got handed a survey form on my 2nd last trip to Falls Creek with the tripe about them being the only ski in ski out resort in Australia and got mightily offended. it only got worse when I asked the FC staff member if she had ever heard of Charlotte Pass and she responnded in the negative.

Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Perisher Valley and definitely Charlotte Pass can also claim to be ski in ski out, so how to do Falls Creek get on saying they are the only one???

[auto-censor] piss weak.

BTW, don't get me wrong, I love Falls Creek, but for XC Skiing... they can rightly claim some kudos for that, I think they have the best trails in Australia.
 
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HiLo

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Most of Buller Village is not ski in ski out. And it's made even worse with the 4WDs hooning around the heated and/or cleared roads.

Baw Baw is ski in ski out.
 

Ian D

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Every lodge in Charlottes Pass is ski in ski out.
Many at Falls are ski in ski out
Some at Perisherblue are ski in ski out.
Some at Hotham are ski in ski out
Some at Buller are ski in ski out
Some at Baw Baw are ski in ski out
A couple at Thredbo are ski in ski out.

All dependent on conditions of course.
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
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I have always been of the opinion that one requires snow to "ski in\ski out".

FC is such a funny place. They have an oversnow that doesn't and ski in\ski out lodges that aren't and a ski hill that isn't and a Mt McKay that is not lifted but still rates a mention.

The pond has real water in it though and I hear that the viaduct is a nice place to go bush walking.

Stay sane BJ and good luck to your ski team.
 

BrumbyJack

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Hilo, you can't even drive a car to Charlotte Pass, you have to either ski in or get the oversnow...

Guests can't drive a car in Perisher Valley either, not that I would try and claim PB to be solely ski in=ski out.

I stayed in a "ski in-ski out" lodge in Falls Creek in Mid August and had to take my skis off to get to the bottom of the chairlift!!!

I only thought they were putting these lies on a survey form that was being circulated to people that were already in the village, but I cut and pasted that from the Australian Interschools Website and FC Information Package.
 

HiLo

Old n' Crusty
Mar 26, 2001
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If there was enough snow it would probably have been ski in ski out. I'm not sure how you put that in your marketing.

Falls has had the "problem" in the past that, despite having a huge snowmaking system, they chose not to run it near lodges. A NIMBY problem I believe. Too noisy.
 

BrumbyJack

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I have no problem with Falls Creek saying that they have ski in ski out accommodation, a lot of it is... but to say they are the ONLY ski in ski out in Australia is just total bullcrap!!!
 
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somebody else

Hard Yards
Apr 3, 2007
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When they usually mention ski in ski out they say that it's under normal snow conditions. It's normal to ski in and out every year, but not normal for the whole season. On average i would say you could use it for about six weeks a year.

Having said that, when resorts talk about their spectacular black runs, most of the time they're not open for long, so claiming normal conditions for ski in ski out can't be too dishonest.
 

Snorkler

Part of the Furniture
Jan 1, 1970
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It's not dishonest, it does exist. What they have done is ommitted that it only happens for a short period of time.

It is not false if it is true at some point.
 

scottski

A Local
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Sep 7, 2004
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If they claimed to be " one of Australia's few ski in ski out resorts" they would be correct. To say Australia's only ski in ski out resort is a lie.

Charlotes pass is ski in ski out or it is closed due to lack of snow.
 

CarlM

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Sep 11, 2007
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Unfortunately, the days when you could reliably ski July through end September are long gone. Climate change, global warming, the fact that we had nearly 50 years of very wet seasons (relatively speaking) from about 1945 on, means that seasons like 1981 are just the stuff of dreams. I've seen photos of snow in Bright, feet deep, snow over the top of some of the older lifts at Falls (ie: above the cable so at least 10 to 15 feet). Ski in - Ski out is just not going to happen but for a few weeks in the middle of the season, if that. With a rapidly contracting season the trading period for lodges is now well down on what it used to be (12 - 14 weeks) at around 8 - 10 weeks. Moreover, the occupancy rates are pretty awful. As a result the idea of providing ski in-ski out and snow guarantees is not going to be viable much longer. Even the investment in snow making has to be seen as very risky given that efficient production requires atmospheric conditions that are becoming less and less frequent.

The whole thing is very depressing. I would love to see my kids experience what I did at Falls when growing up. I don't think that's going to happen. Memories are notoriously unreliable, especially when you recall things with great fondness, but the Falls I loved had a lot more snow, a more dedicated ski crowd - they skied hard and parties hard, and just seemed a lot less tame. Some greedy lodge owners, [Deleted by admin - abuse] also contributed to the slow decline Falls has been in since around the early 1990s. But all in all, its the snow - or lack thereof.

Micro climate changes as a result of the fires haven't helped snow fall either, and the state government still hasn't moved to put in place a decent response mechanism to any future breakout (mainly a result of the morons at the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (a more nefariouos set of agendas and vested interests you will never get)).

All in all a sad business, compounded by the previously referred to marketing bullshite which streams out of the FC Resort Management offices.

I'd hate to see FC become a ghost town but the reality is it is probably not too far off.

That all said, I should note that a number of lower ski hills in Canada and the US are in the same position, snow wise, with businesses leaving in droves. We can only keep our fingers crossed we get some decent seasons over the next few years. Of course, if bull*** was white we could all ski in Canberra.
 

CarlM

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Yeah, its a bit bleak Scottski but fingers crossed. And it looks like the punters blogging with Little Miss Snow It All in the Age are getting fed up with resort BS...but anyway. I see you are a Vincent HRD man - Black Shadow, Black Lightning....great bikes. Almost as good as skiing.
 

Has Bn

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We seem to have got away from BJ's original argument that FC is advertising itself as THE ONLY ski in-ski out resort. Everyone does seem to agree with that point, so what can be done about it? The ACCC takes a dim view of false advertising - so should someone make a complaint? BJ? After the Interschools?

I'm guessing that the Resort Management (or whoever it was that cobbled together that clumsy ad) were using copywriters who had never been to Falls, or locals who didn't understand the difference between exaggeration and false advertising - in either case, it should be challenged. Then again, I might be completely wrong. The resort might know exactly what they are doing, and have already had legal advice on what "only true" ski in- ski out resort actually means in law.

I still think they are cheating - just like they are cheating with the surcharge this week.
mad.gif
 
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trappers

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Personally I liked these gems from Falls Creeks fantastic marketing department (Posted in the terrain park thread too)

Falls creek's Terrain park is described their bull and dribble department as ...

"award-winning"
http://www.ski.com.au/scripts/admin/news/vnews.pl?ad=-101391-&year=2007

and
"world famous"
http://www.ski.com.au/scripts/admin/news/vnews.pl?ad=-101394-&year=2007

I'd like to know a) what awards it has ever won (apart from the skiwatch awards
laugh.gif
) and b) exactly how many North American, European or Japanese riders have ever heard of Falls Creek's "world famous" park

That, my friend, is Falls Creek ... all hype and spin ... but not much else.
 
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Shrek

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CarlM said:
but anyway. I see you are a Vincent HRD man - Black Shadow, Black Lightning....great bikes. Almost as good as skiing.

I hope he means Vincent motorcycles not Vincent mortcycles.

Nice weapon of choice though, cannot fault the taste.
 
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Snorkler

Part of the Furniture
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The marketing department at Falls are quite on the pulse when it comes to Marketing, they are truly one of the best departments at writing Press Releases and getting the Falls word out there. If they are that good at these things, I would probably say that they really know what they are doing when it comes to writing these things, even if their toes are over the edge of the diving board.

I wish I was half as good at creating a profile as these people for myself.
 

DeesOnSkis

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OK, but this type of stuff is not peculiar to FC.

E.g. PB media release - "The Coca-Cola Wild Winter Weekend will kick off with the world famous downhill demolition race – Coca-Cola Dash for Cash.
 

trappers

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True ... but Falls are the masters of it. And snorks I dunno, you can onbly bullcrap people so many times before they begin to get a sour taste in their mouths.

For example we do nto advertise Trapdoor as being five star accommodation the most fantastic at Hotham in the best location with the best views bla blah blah ... because when people get there, they would be disappointed and never come back

Instead we advertise it completely honestly as cheap and comfortable accommodation in a lodge style environment ... no marketing crap talk there, and when people stay there for the first time, they are invariably pleasently surprised, as if they expected that they had been lied to. We have a huge return visitor rate because of it!
 

Ian D

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trappers said:
I'd like to know a) what awards it has ever won (apart from the skiwatch awards
laugh.gif
) and b) exactly how many North American, European or Japanese riders have ever heard of Falls Creek's "world famous" park

Well they did win the skiwatch award, they also were awarded the "best park for freeriders" by Australia & NZ Snowboarding Magazine.

Falls Creek's terrain park has outranked its Australian counterparts. It has received the number one ranking for its park by Australian & New Zealand Snowboarding Magazine.

Johnny McCormack, the magazine’s editor, invited a team of knowledgeable riders to rate each resort's Freeriding, Park, Pipe, Nightlife and Village facilities.

Falls Creek’s Superpipe scored well with a rating of two by the adventurous (hard core) freeridiers who frequent the parks and pipes of the Oz resorts.

However, it was the Ruined Castle Terrain Park that outranked the others.

So by any definition that is "award winning".

As for being "world famous" well it did host the largest snowboard event in the Southern Hemisphere this year as part of the official Oakley Stylewars World Snowboard Tour and also the Burton Global Open Series.

As a result it attracted top riders from all around the world and featured the largest kicker ever included in competition anywhere in the world (140ft flat). It is a pretty big event on the world snowboard tour.

It certainly gives it more cred for that claim than anyone other resort in Australia.
 
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trappers

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Ian D said:
trappers said:
I'd like to know a) what awards it has ever won (apart from the skiwatch awards
laugh.gif
) and b) exactly how many North American, European or Japanese riders have ever heard of Falls Creek's "world famous" park

Well they did win the skiwatch award, they also were awarded the "best park for freeriders" by Australia & NZ Snowboarding Magazine.

Falls Creek's terrain park has outranked its Australian counterparts. It has received the number one ranking for its park by Australian & New Zealand Snowboarding Magazine.

Johnny McCormack, the magazine’s editor, invited a team of knowledgeable riders to rate each resort's Freeriding, Park, Pipe, Nightlife and Village facilities.

Falls Creek’s Superpipe scored well with a rating of two by the adventurous (hard core) freeridiers who frequent the parks and pipes of the Oz resorts.

However, it was the Ruined Castle Terrain Park that outranked the others.

So by any definition that is "award winning".

As for being "world famous" well it did host the largest snowboard event in the Southern Hemisphere this year as part of the official Oakley Stylewars World Snowboard Tour and also the Burton Global Open Series.

As a result it attracted top riders from all around the world and featured the largest kicker ever included in competition anywhere in the world (140ft flat). It is a pretty big event on the world snowboard tour.

It certainly gives it more cred for that claim than anyone other resort in Australia.
Ok fair call, I guess I didnt really think that comment through, yes it is world famous, and yes it has won awards.

I guess I was thinking about the fact that most people I have ever met in Europe and North America (although that one is not surprising) do not know Australia even has snow, let alone know about Falls Creek, but reading what ParkMonkey said in the other thread, and the comments you have made here it is clear that within the Pro-boarding community it is well known around the world.
 
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VSG

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Falls Creek is entitled to market itself, to the ultimate betterment of shareholder returns.

To argue otherwise, is foolish.

At least Snow depths are being reported properly. Due, in part, to industry mechanisms like ski.com.au.
 

trappers

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VSG said:
Falls Creek is entitled to market itself, to the ultimate betterment of shareholder returns.

To argue otherwise, is foolish.

At least Snow depths are being reported properly. Due, in part, to industry mechanisms like ski.com.au.
Yea absolutely, and they do a much better job of it than many other resorts! I've already retracted my comments, it is clear I was wrong about the awards and world famous thing
smile.gif
 
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currawong

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trappers said:
... I've already retracted my comments, it is clear I was wrong ...

Are you allowed to use language like that around here? It must contravene the forum guidelines somehow
wink.gif
 
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CarlM

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In my little discourse yesterday I referred to previous Lift Company/Resort management types with some disdain (which the administrator deleted).

He was quite right to do so although it doesn't change the fact that the current lot of Lift Company types (with one or two notable exceptions) seem to be from the same mould.

"Wind hold" is just a crock, as are slow running speeds and shorter opening times. Given the expense of tickets it is no wonder that people coming to Falls get rightfully pissed off when the marketing blurbs/snow reports state how many lifts are "running" only to find that many are slow, stopping or stopped, and unreliable in terms of availability.

Resort Management is a contradiction in terms and is stacked with political appointees or commercial favourites.

As for the lodge owners, not all are or have been greedy, not by a long shot. The Falls Creek Motel is a good example providing, amongst other things, consistently good quality and support for single parents with considerate rates. A number of other lodges and accommodations are similarly operated. Unfortunately, a number of off-hill, non resident owners or head-lease holders just view Falls now, as they always have, as a seasonal cash cow that must be milked for whatever it can give, whatever the cost.

Current building developers (and the real estate sales crowd) are equally opportunistic, and it is only a matter of time before the 900 lb gorilla in the room is acknowledged in that a number of recent (ie: last 8 years or so) developments at Falls and Hotham are large, white elephants - to continue the animal references. Problem is, when they fall through or the owners/investors/mortgage holders are fed up with getting soaked and run a fire sale, the value of other, established holdings and businesses at Falls are going to suffer. This will do nothing for the confidence up here.

Falls has a lot to do to set itself up to survive the next few years. But ultimately, as noted yesterday, it's the snow. We need a decent decade of the good stuff. I'm hopeful but, with the snow-line moving up every year, I'm not optimistic.
 

CarlM

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Not looking to mitigate free market forces here VSG, but I do think it would be worth having Smith's "invisble hand" able to do it's thing absent the hype and BS proffered by real estate types - and for the forces at work to be able to do so in a truly free market. That doesn't exist currently.

The real estate market is insane and skewed anyway in Australia and so you will get the abberations you see now all over the place, Falls included. Just give it time though and the hand will prevail.

But it's not that that raises my ire. It is that Falls suffers, as all hills in Australia do, by our national propensity for thinking short term. I don't think that is ever going to change. Snow aside, Falls needs to be invigorated by smart development (I mean that in the broadest sense - rather than in the 'ad hoc' placement of buildings designed to soak up punters looking for speculative returns - ie: developing winter and summer markets, mapping out and putting into place long term sustainable (economic as well as environmental) businesses that do not rely on variable weather performance, etc.) Again this will not happen because Falls, across the board, has not got its act together.

Thsi is why the resort marketing BS (teh original point of this discussion) is so damaging. When they hype it all up and the visitor arrives to find lousy snow and crap lifts then they never come back. There is plenty of competition out there for the disposable dollar and with money and vacation time tight people will just go somewhere elese., And they are. Regardless of seasons of late, occupancy rates at Falls have been trending down for years. Canad, New Zealand, Queensland, Asia - they are attractive and competing.

The concerns for Falls Creek are real and people are voting with their feet. The Man is not selling, the Hub supermarket, the sale of Snowlands (I know the operator is pulling out with retirement and age considerations but how viable is the thing?), Attunga, Fethertop and its odd pricing, over two hundred properties on the market between Falls and Hotham (a huge number given markets over the last ten years), Dinner Plain with vacant lots, reduced prices on a number of sales and developments being cancelled or delayed. It's the elephant.
 

ausi ski bum

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A cpouple of things Carl, real Estate in Falls Creek has been very viable over the past five years, I have purchased three properties and sold two for very healty returns, the rental income exceeds 7% after all expenses so I am very pleased with the returns, some of the properties not selling are just over priced.

Secondly I once met someone going right off at resort staff due to a wind hold, I suggested he come with me and we head up township and if he stil felt the same I would support his argument, not far above the aqueduct we heard a roar like a 747 with its engines on full thrust, a little higher the guy then felt the wind and very quickly realised wind holds occur for very good reasons.

As for the marketing line on the village, does it really matter, Falls Creek is a village with permanent residents an school shops and police statione etc, is CP? I would suggest its a lot more like a settlement than a village. Thredbo is also a great village in the mountain but it has only limited ski in ski out. With snow on the roads in Falls Creek I don't think there is a flat in town without ski in and ski out which is pretty unique.

As for visitor numbers this year saw a huge return of skiers with many weekends (and weeks) having cars parked all the way to Howmans. I have not seen that for a number of years, I enjoyed very healthy bookings with one apartment booked out from Mid June to the end of next week continuously and the other with just a few days empty.

Why does this sort of thing upset people so much after all is Coke really the real thing, Why do they say Queensland is Beutiful one day and perfect the next when the week I spent there last week saw rain every day. Its just marketing.
 

VSG

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Good to see you declare your interests at FC, ASB.


Carl, I know nothing of issues at FC. Seems you either have been disenchanted by a transaction up there, or you just don't have a strategic, long term view of things.

It will get better. Cycles, Carl, cycles.


VSG
 

HiLo

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ausi ski bum said:
With snow on the roads in Falls Creek I don't think there is a flat in town without ski in and ski out which is pretty unique.

1. That's appalling grammar.

2. It's not true.
 
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CarlM

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There's a problem here boys. ASB, you've made some bucks and good on you, but the point I am making is that bucks made out of the real estate market at the moment is a pyramid scheme. No offence to you ASB, you're not alone, but the whole real estate market is reminiscent of the dot.com bubble. We have overextended mortgages (the sub-prime market is just a single example), greedy banks (eg: Eurotrash speculator banks that bought sub-prime, "asset backed" bundles which they couldn't even value, simply on the basis that, despite all the warning signals on over allocated income to debt ratios etc, they felt they just couldn't miss out), a lack of alternative wealth generating investment opportunities in Australia, a small population, a limited wealth base and just a few dense population pockets in a handful of capital cities and a spread along parts of the Eastern seaboard.

Falls Creek real estate relies, in large part, on reliable snow, which has now become a thing of the past, and hype. In this case its not just the resort marketing hype, its the real estate hype and fear in the marketplace - fear that "if I don't buy it, someone else will and I'll miss out". That scenario is always underpinned by the sucker at the end of the line who buys just before the asset values plummet. Its a shill game, pure and simple. Falls (and Hotham) real estate markets are underwritten by the skewed market pricing of the last few years (eg: since 2000). That is, they are simply an extension of the "let's buy at any price" mentality all over Australia and in the US, UK and EU.

As I highlighted, there is now a surplus of properties on the market. In this game you win if you buy on the up and just before the peak, and can sell in time. ASB, you did that and great for you. But we now see a resistance in the marketplace and that is likely to be amplified as the property market moves to "readjust". The sub-prime is just the start.

This is not a Cassandra like prediction or premonition, I like making money too. It's just as VSG suggests, cycles. Our memories are short and our greed and hopes large. The real estate thing will fall over and start again.

A fair market in real estate, operating without the influence of vested interests, would be great, and under such circumstances it is beneficial to most and fair profits can be made. But it but rarely happens. At the moment the agendas are prevailing. Cyclical norms and the invisible hand will prevail though.

Falls is likely to suffer more though in any market bust. It does not have a rental demand except in the winter and that is driven by snow falls. They are reducing. Forget snowmaking, that is subject to a lot of unreliable factors as well. The skiing experience in Australia is more often becoming compared to the skiing experience in the EU and North America. On a dollar value comparison it doesn't hold up. As I mentioned in an earlier post, competition for the tourist buck is strong. Falls and Hotham rely only on winter trade, a shortening period as it is. I don't think I lack a strategic vision for Falls, but for all the talk of such things (since the 1970s) such development (ie: not just a winter focus) has never comoe to pass.

Moreover, the last crowd to run the place sold up to Australian Alpine Enterprises (MFS) and pushed northern Japan. Marshall Vann and Co (MFS) made around $7 million between Falls and Hotham combined to the end of June (EBITDA). That is less than one fifth of their total earnings in the same period. They sunk $2 million into snowmaking at Hotham last year, subsidized by over $6 million from the state government (this is for a Queensland outfit mind you). That development alone was a significant proportion of their annual earnings. It would not have happened if the Vic government had not put in. No wonder Thwaites was getting free skiing holidays! But to offset the investment MFS is now pushing the last of the freehold blocks at Hotham. Of course they are. They have to recoup somehow (and if they can sell at those prices the idiot buying deserves to lose their money). Why so? Look at Dinner Plain. Half of it is a ghosttown, vacant blocks all over the place. That never took off. Look at the property numbers on the block now. ASB, you sold at the right time. The point is, MFS is going to struggle to make a viable return out of Falls and Hotham without decent snow (which no amount of snowmaking can provide across sufficient acreage to prevent people from going to Canada to ski on the real stuff) and the real estate option is going sour. Given their share price is the same as it was three years ago the shareholders are not going to wait around while the real estate market tanks and builds up again. That's a 7 - 10 year period. So MFS eithe gets burned or gets out. And who will buy? And without lifts Falls and Hotham stop. It's not rocket science. Problem is, you don't always have a venal politician to spring for you and lousy snow a fair bet), a decent fire (quite possible), a turn in the market (direct flights to Canada are now available) means Falls and Hotham are in strife. Watch the fire sales over this summer.
 

Hunter

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CarlM said:
Not looking to mitigate free market forces here VSG, but I do think it would be worth having Smith's "invisble hand" able to do it's thing absent the hype and BS proffered by real estate types - and for the forces at work to be able to do so in a truly free market. That doesn't exist currently.

The real estate market is insane and skewed anyway in Australia and so you will get the abberations you see now all over the place, Falls included. Just give it time though and the hand will prevail.

But it's not that that raises my ire. It is that Falls suffers, as all hills in Australia do, by our national propensity for thinking short term. I don't think that is ever going to change. Snow aside, Falls needs to be invigorated by smart development (I mean that in the broadest sense - rather than in the 'ad hoc' placement of buildings designed to soak up punters looking for speculative returns - ie: developing winter and summer markets, mapping out and putting into place long term sustainable (economic as well as environmental) businesses that do not rely on variable weather performance, etc.) Again this will not happen because Falls, across the board, has not got its act together.

Thsi is why the resort marketing BS (teh original point of this discussion) is so damaging. When they hype it all up and the visitor arrives to find lousy snow and crap lifts then they never come back. There is plenty of competition out there for the disposable dollar and with money and vacation time tight people will just go somewhere elese., And they are. Regardless of seasons of late, occupancy rates at Falls have been trending down for years. Canad, New Zealand, Queensland, Asia - they are attractive and competing.

The concerns for Falls Creek are real and people are voting with their feet. The Man is not selling, the Hub supermarket, the sale of Snowlands (I know the operator is pulling out with retirement and age considerations but how viable is the thing?), Attunga, Fethertop and its odd pricing, over two hundred properties on the market between Falls and Hotham (a huge number given markets over the last ten years), Dinner Plain with vacant lots, reduced prices on a number of sales and developments being cancelled or delayed. It's the elephant.

Right on the money Carl.

It is what a number of us have been saying for some years now, much to the derision of the many sycophants around here.

I believe Hotham supermarket is still seeking a buyer as well, you can add that to your list.
 
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CarlM

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Falls Creek
Folks, given that I'm on a verbose roll at the moment and that it's also therapeutic let's carry on...

Thanks for reminding me Hunter. That supermarket has been up for sale now for two or three years if memory serves correctly. Mind you, the turnover and operation of its host facility (a large, brown complex at Hotham on the right as you head south) has always been symptomatic of the prevailing attitude. Let's not go into the gory details but mountain folks will know to what I refer.

And Scottski, I don't need to go short on MFS. Hell, I just had a quick look at their share price history on the ASX, dividends and staples.....if you were looking to invest to secure a decent ROI I think that ski lifts in Australia - given the seasonal record since 1982, global warming, climate change, drought, water availability, haemorrhoids and anything else - would make your board of directors (and any company analyst) avoid it like the plague. Reality is that, almost invariably, corporate investment in these areas is driven by the personal dreams/desires/follies of the directors concerned. If you were really serious on the investing front then due diligence would have you relegating ski lift operation to the end of the list, close to betting on peace in the mid-East and regular baths in England.

To really stretch things a bit here have a look at the media reports on the opening up of the northwest passage through the arctic. If nothing else you would look at that ice melt over the last 12 months and say, assuming your head was out of your [auto-censor], Jesus H. Christ, we must be mad. What do you get instead? Russians putting a sub on the sea floor to put up a flag for Chrissake (as if it's still the 19th century) and various business reports suggesting we can now have a go at getting the oil and gas out from under the arctic sea floor. F***ing hell, that's what got us into this mess and here we are, just doing it all over again.

My point being that as humans we tend to go for the short-sighted quick result, quick buck, f**k everything else play, rather than any longer term appreciation of the real value of things (not always monetary).

Here we have Falls Creek, where I have variously lived, worked and been in and out of for 35 years, melting away before our eyes and the best we can come up with is snowmaking and real estate speculation. It's just horseshit. The global warming thing will take some time to turn around. So the the snow is going to be iffy, non-existent or somewhere in between for the forseeable future. But you don't make Falls viable by having a bunch of absentee landlords looking to make a quick buck and a lift company reliant on tax-payer largesse. If you are going to have any economically sustainable basis for its existence you need a resident population providing year round services, facilities and what have you that people want. That is summer hiking, sports training, conferencing, tax claimable "continuing professional education" meetings (doctors, lawyers, High Court judges and similar riff-raff), family accommodation, affordable accommodation etc. Again, it's not rocket science.

Every year we see the same thing though. A good bit of snow for a week or even a few weeks and the hype is poured on. But we fall foul of short memories, the frisson of excitement at imagining ourselves whizzing down the slope, and gross errors in statistical sampling (ie: one snowfall does not an industry make).

So, to return to the original topic, there is false advertising and promotion by Falls Creek, and every parasite that leeches off it. But that goes for Hotham, real estate markets, the Gold Coast, politics and.... you get the picture. Falls has a chance at surviving but it will need people who are willing to see it as a place to live and to make a living, not as just a quick entry on the profit and loss sheet.
 

scottski

A Local
Ski Pass
Sep 7, 2004
6,626
5,949
563
Homebush NSW
Carl, I stood on the hill at Falls on the weekend and looked across at the hills surrounding it. There is a very tenuous snow line. It only need to be raised a few hundred meters for the natural snow to disappear completely.

I would rank a ski hill in Australia as probably the most risky investment you could possibly make. In that context I understand the desire to gouge any and all money from our pockets while the sun shines and the snow falls. I also fail to understand how the current owners of Perisher Blue failed to sell recently. Rumors had the offers $20 million below the asking price. I would have cut and run in the circumstances.
 

Has Bn

First Runs
Sep 4, 2007
31
0
0
Wow, Carl, are you drinking what I'm drinking ..... ???

Anyway, I agree with he original post. FC are using false advertising. But the consensus here seems to be that it's OK because they need to make a few dollars before they go broke. And they will probably hang on for a while yet - there are always a few cashed-up optimists who can rationalise their decision to buy a place at the snow :) Maybe we should be thanking them for keeping our skiing industry sustainable for a bit longer than nature merits.
 

MisterMxyzptlk

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Mar 12, 2002
27,907
13,806
1,063
CarlM said:
have a look at the media reports on the opening up of the northwest passage through the arctic.

steady on Carl.I mentioned that in a climate warming thread in Weather over a year ago and had it promptly deleted by Sandy as not relevant.(about the same time I stopped posting there)

I like the cut of your jib though..nice freeforming!!
beer.gif
 
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CarlM

First Runs
Sep 11, 2007
253
0
0
Falls Creek
Ah, fellow ski heads....this beats the cr*p on TV anytime, especially from those morons Eddy McG & Ray Martin.

I'm not so sure, Has Bn. About the consensus that is. I get the feeling that there are more than a few heads nodding, reluctantly or otherwise, regarding the thesis I am advancing in these little diatribes.

But it's not just me. The comments, the mutterings, the many words spoken in jest with a half grain of truth in them on the chairlift or at the bar....I'm really just summarising the general Zeitgeist as we head into the "Sturm und Drang!" that will no doubt unfold as the Gestalt mindset (or, indeed, psychosis) of the Alpine real estate and commercial investor collapses like eine Handelsbank flachgedrückt durch ein Panzer!!!

I like that about Panzer's.

(I have an urge to goosestep about now).

Scottski, you are right. The room we have to play with on the snowline altitude is very small (and very narrow). We are getting more blocking high pressure cells during winter which are pushing the storm fronts (did someone say Sturm?) south of the continent. Ergo, no snow.

Snow-Pixie, you were censored horribly. I hope you feel exonerated now, not to mention prescient.

Thank you DeesOnSkis for your critique and ranking. I am available nights and weekends.

Has Bn, a few "investors" (read speculators), some of whom are so crooked they have to screw their pants on in the morning, are not a viable model for long term economic development. Just look at the mess the country is in becuse of that little pri*k in Canberra and the rabble on the other side. Pant-screwers the lot of them!
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
Ski Pass
Oct 26, 2002
72,005
63,853
1,525
Mountains
"The Pant Screwers of Floss Creek" would make a good sitcom.

FC is a nice place to ski if you carn't.
 

Scott No Mates

One of Us
Sep 14, 2003
3,559
492
263
Sydney - LNS
CarlM you do raise a few good points about investors in this part of the world but in ASB's defence if the investments that he has made have served him well (thorough analysis, good returns, efficient management, tight control of outgoings etc) good luck to him & screw the investors who think that they can make megabucks from the snow.
Any halfwit (oops serious investor) will not buy if the fundamentals are wrong, would you invest in something which may give you 1-2.5% return (before interest and tax)? No, but many would and do. I see ASB as a model of a conservative investor who drives the efficiencies of the investment by undertaking a lot of gratutious self promotion & defence of FC (sure he could sell his principles and up the sales price of his units to give a 3-5% return and people will still jump at it.
As the the main topic of the discussion, does provide the only ski-in ski-out village (by definition of year round village not a settlement or hamlet). Many resorts do provide ski-in/out but Falls does it to all of the accommodation most consistently.
 

Principal Douglas

Big Fan
Ski Pass
Mar 21, 2002
5,412
1,018
563
Orange, NSW
DeesOnSkis said:
OK, but this type of stuff is not peculiar to FC.

E.g. PB media release - "The Coca-Cola Wild Winter Weekend will kick off with the world famous downhill demolition race – Coca-Cola Dash for Cash.

In PB's defence, when I was in Canada and I told some Sun Peaks locals where I skied in Australia, they said "Isn't that where they have that crazy chinese downhill thing?"

I don't know if they had heard about it from other Aussies over the years, but they had heard about it from somewhere. Probably still doesn't constitute as world famous but still...
 
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Snorkler

Part of the Furniture
Jan 1, 1970
18,212
548
813
Melbourne, Vic
Many people here should leave their investing choices to their financial advisors, they clearly don't have much idea about finances. Whilst I wouldn't have done what ASB did (because the margins were still too narrow for my liking, especially in that environment I require a little danger margin on top,) the actual cashflow of his properties were almost twice as good as the cashflows on properties people buy in the cities for investments. If the bottom end did fall out of the FC market, I wouldn't have doubted that ASB wouldn't have had too much trouble holding on to his properties, in fact I don't doubt it at all. If that is the case, it actually means that ASB probably did get a somewhat decent price for the places he brought and that the prices he paid for it were almost at the threshold of where a property's price wouldn't have fallen very far due to the fundamentals. There is a mark and measure of where the price should be, the question is do all of you actually know how to determine that price? I doubt it, head out and go educate yourselves before trying to make a comment on these markets and when you think others have not invested wisely.

Yes I have worked for these companies, and when the lifts go on Wind Hold or go slow, there is a very good reason for it.

Correction, the cashflow that ASB is really quite good actually. I think I might have to have a word with this fella.

If the supermarket at Hotham has not sold, it is simply because the asking price is too high and their owners of the business have too high expectations. That said, there are many in Melbourne who have too high expectations on the prices of their business'. Good luck if they sell them, but my accountants would kill me if I did that. Investing is a numbers game, learn how it's played before passing judgment.
 
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