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FCRM Wants to Clear the Roads

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by ausi ski bum, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Little Tiger, I am really referring to the competition between Victorian resorts. I think Thredbo is generally regarded as Australias premier resort.
     
  2. Little Tiger

    Little Tiger A Local

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    Apresski - but you describe Falls as family friendly - and I contend it is anything but.... don't get me wrong - I enjoyed skiing there... but for the average family/new skier I think the whole experience is necessarily more difficult and expensive if they go to Falls.... I take my beginner friends to Thredbo for a reason - I want them to LOVE skiing.... not see it as tiresomely difficult and full of challenges that put off those not very rich or very keen...(or both)

    At Thredbo I CAN get them to top of mountain restaurant on foot (Merrits or Eagles Nest)... they CAN easily go shopping/swimming/walking/climbing...so a day or afternoon off is relaxing and enjoyable... and they can readily hire boot and ski lockers at Friday Flat... They can get good coffee within a ski boot walk of the slopes or on slopes... or enjoy a decent meal on snow (Not pies at exhorbitant prices at Falls)... I'm talking regular people without 6 figure incomes
     
  3. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    You are right Little Tiger,
     
  4. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thredbo is without question Australia's premier resort. There's plenty of good skiing elsewhere but nowhere provides the overall experience.
     
  5. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #55 Hunter, Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  6. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    Definately, followed by Buller and either PB or Hotham and lastly Falls a fair way back.
     
    #56 Hunter, Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  7. ausi ski bum

    ausi ski bum A Local

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    We are trying to have a serious discussion but as always Buller property owner Hunter has to turn it into an attack on the resort. Please stop using the forum as a way to attack FC for what ever reason you have.
     
  8. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    I dont own anything at Buller, sold yours at Falls have you ?

    Oh and BTW, the Falls RMB have stood up and recognised the ball and chain this system is to what otherwise is a great place, time you did, ie Falls is lagging the other 3 and one of the main reasons is this very problem.

    Have you skied Buller yet btw ................
     
    #58 Hunter, Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  9. MXER

    MXER Hard Yards

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    "The streets are the Winter Wonderland, it gives Falls its life" "Balance without Restrictions".

    Initially reading this I felt angry, FCOS yes has had issues with the quality/maintenance of their machinery, but this year the timely organisation & Service was to be commended (I personally had experienced a vast improvement this July '08 year & last Sept '07).

    I have been coming back to Falls since I was 11, I'm now 33 & have taken my own son twice now (he's 8). The 1st time I took him there was no snow on the streets (late Sept) & this year we arrived mid July (snow everywhere). My point is that from talking with my son (our next generation of skiiers/boarders) I said which year was better? and he without hesitation said this year (due to all the fun he had in the snow covered streets).

    It is hard to top your 1st experience, especially when it is so full of great moments which he had the 1st time, but this year the Snow in the Streets (as I expected & planned due to my own experience) made it beyond memorable for him. The spontaneous snowfights from the village to the lodge, watching the snowmobiles/oversnow doing their thing is very similar to the Alfresco cafe culture for adults & for children it's like being allowed to play without the nomal constraint of suburbias rules, the walks to the Supermarket & Rental shops, the taboggoning between the streets, the shortcuts back to the lodge, the skiiers & boarders being part of the pedestrians.

    My point is that it is a Vibe, an emotion, & feeling of community at Falls Creek because of the whole Village setting and the borderless feeling of the streets filled with snow. The streets are the Winter Wonderland, it gives Falls its life. Obviously, it is certainly a good idea to concentrate on Safety & Environmental requirements (Safety: with Resort Management Educating Adult Guests, yes just like how Pete the Snow Dragon educates the kids, and with LED implemented sensor lights for traffic) for guests (young, old, disabled, service, trades, etc) but to totally clear all the streets of snow would be such a drastic approach that it would unbalance the positives. The issue here is Balance without Restrictions, in reaching a medium.

    The suggestions by all are good ideas (yet often costly).

    I believe a structure/timetable aproach is the best (cheapest, consistant) approach to dealing with one of the issues (it would also help the maintenance issues). Also a factor is tying in the timetable with the Coach services, Airlines, Falls Creek Reservations. The problem with the oversnow in the past was the Chaotic approach of needing to work around guests too much that themselves were unorganised or services were terribly not in tune with each other enough which caused delays & frustrations.

    These discussions & reviews are great at promoting both classical, contemporary, & modern perspectives of WHAT IS NEEDED FOR CHANGE.

    In my mind these changes should be a gradual implementation or approach to take whilst slowly growing enough resources & funding to take on more structural & fleet changes without disrupting Falls Creek's Village essence & incorporating World leading energy efficient, & environmentally friendly transportation around the Village.

    The Hydro Electric Engine is one example that could be incorporated with back-up BIO Diesel supplimentary engines in the Kassbohrers'...(just like our friends at Snowy Hydro Electricity over the Mountain at Rocky Valley Lake). Falls Creek needs to take advantage of it's Renewable energy.

    Most resorts have nothing at all similar. Concentrate & invest in your positives as there'll always be negatives (just look at nature, it does enough of what's right to keep itself sustainable).
     
    #59 MXER, Aug 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  10. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    Paragraphs.
     
  11. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    A heartfelt response with constructive ideas. This thread is not about peoples preference for certain resorts. Several people have acknowledged that Thredbo is Australias' premier resort. If you like Buller that's fine, others prefer Falls. We are, it seems agreed that the Oversnow needs fixing, therefore the emphaasis now needs to be on constructive ideas to improve the service and for interested parties to make their feelings felt to the Resort Management.
     
  12. wannaski

    wannaski One of Us

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    I love Falls and think it would be very sad if they cleared the roads.I have stayed there in the low season when there was no snow on the roads and it just wasn't the same.I am quite happy to drag my bags through the snow rather than have bare roads!!!
     
  13. Scoo Ter

    Scoo Ter Hard Yards

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    I reckon you must mean Balance without Boarders. [​IMG] Now that would be a great idea, leave the roads alone but ban the shredders from the resort and turn it into a skier only resort. [​IMG]
     
    #63 Scoo Ter, Aug 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  14. K@os

    K@os A Local

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    Yeah cos you see sooooooo many skiers taking advantage of awesome terrain parks at Falls eh? I say turn FC into one giant terrain park and ban skiiers. The oversnow would become much more efficient if it only had to carry boards up into the village and not all the junk you skiiers use.

    now back on topic. Would it be possible to clear one of the main roads, leaving the rest untouched? This may at the very least help for delivery of supplies to many of the lodges and reduce the load on the oversnow
     
  15. Scoo Ter

    Scoo Ter Hard Yards

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    Yeah "cos" a main road is a main road "cos" all these other little roads run off it. So you'd still need to have oversnow vehicles running on the cleared blacktop up to the point where they needed to get on to the minor roads which are not cleared. It wouldn't be worth clearing a main road.
     
  16. K@os

    K@os A Local

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    Now now, no need to mock my use of shorthand to get your point across.
    I was thinking more on the points that were made in the submission about transportation of goods to the hotels etc. I assume it would be easier to drive a truck to the businesses along FC Road and into the village bowl to make deliveries.

    FC Road is at the bottom of the village so ski-in ski-out would only affect the bottom properties. The oversnow would still be needed for a vast majority of the village and in a lot of cases would only travel along the cleared road for a short period
     
  17. dickyknees63

    dickyknees63 Hard Yards

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    MXER your post (a great piece of writing btw) echoes very closely the experience I have had taking my kids across these last 3 years. In fact, neither had actually seen snow fall til this year. Both were blown away by it (5 & 7 yrs old). Tramping around in fresh snow, snow ball fights, snow angels, walking up to the Bowl for the Night Spectacular etc are just wonderful experiences - and that's before they strap on the planks...

    I have ski'd every major resort in Aust (and some minor ones too) and while I certainly love Hotham and Thredbo, plan to continue to bring my kids to Falls largely because of the 'village in the snow' nature of the place.

    I have not needed to use Oversnow at Falls of late, but can see that things need a bit of fixing in that department. The tracked landcruisers (also at Buller) seem to be a workable option from my viewpoint.
     
  18. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    In 5 visits to FC I am yet to see these snow covered roads. I have seen a lot of wet ones and a lot of mushy ones with a snow and black top mix but "snow covered roads" never. The place is a bugger to walk around, up n down and up n down, walkways half snow and half cleared\melted, ski trails that come out at the back of highest lodges which you then have to trudge down the road to get to the ones on the lower hill.

    The more lodges they build at FC the faster the snow will melt so get all the developers to either install snow making on the roads or heat them all.

    Can you imagine the place with cars everywhere. FFS it would be a nightmare.

    I prefer to not talk about the over snow and the slackers who run that overpriced under resourced debacle.
     
  19. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hey Dr WD, you should try going in winter!
     
  20. K@os

    K@os A Local

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    Yeah Dr. WD, I dunno when you went out of the 5 times....your timing really sucks though. [​IMG] There was snow on the roads for me the first couple of days I was there last year and I could ski right to my front door on Christie St.
    The year before, no snow on the roads, but the year before that there was plenty. So 2 out of 3 times I've had ski-in ski-out for at least part of my holiday.
     
    #70 K@os, Aug 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  21. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates One of Us

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    I have only just logged back in but was at Yogi's in the Hub when the email came out.

    Falls' point of difference is ski-in ski-out (you can't do that at Thredbare unless you are in Woodridge, Perisher at the terminal/hotel etc).

    If they clear the roads for the sake of FCRM gaining easier access to the bowl the majority of the resort will no longer be ski-in/out. Property values will decrease on this selling point. Lodge operators with skidoos will have no use for them costing them $$$$ (and no resale market for skidoos).

    People resent paying for oversnow at the best of times, if the roads are cleared, they will resent paying for over road even more.

    If the roads are cleared, then speeds of vehicles on the road will increase. At present, I am not aware of any deaths, or major injuries to pedestrians/skiers who have hit or been hit by oversnow at FC so although the risk of injury may be high, the incidence/probability is extremely low.

    Why don't SKM suggest clearing the road between Falls and Omeo once it has been sealed???? at least traffic can flow into FC instead of Hotham.
     
  22. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Having not been to Falls Creek it's hard for me to comment, but my 2cents

    1. Invest in new oversnow vehicles
    2. Talk of the shed being old, build a nice new area

    Me thinks this is just an easy and cheap way of FCRM getting out of buying new oversnow vehicles and upgrading the shed

    I am up at Falls in a week but not using the oversnow as staying off mountain, but will see what it looks like and them comment further [​IMG]
     
    #72 skiflat, Aug 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  23. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    andee, fcrm do not run the service, it is outsourced to a business who own the terminal and the vehicles.

    staying off-mountain is a great option for many people. hope you enjoy Mt Beauty as much as Falls
     
  24. Xcape

    Xcape Old n' Crusty

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    [​IMG] Nice!

    If they cleared the roads, I for one would not bother to drive from NSW to ski there. The snow covered roads add to the charm of the place.

    I don't even know why people are bothering to talk about Thredbo in this thread. They are both completely different ski resorts. Thredbo is my number one ski resort but Falls and CP run a close second, only for the enchantment though.
     
    #74 Xcape, Aug 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  25. cab7

    cab7 First Runs

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    [Deleted by admin - hearsay and personal attacks]

    The FRCM is too easily swayed by what they think is progress. e.g. big ugly buildings like St Waterfalls, oops I mean St Falls. The new monstrosity of a building that took away all the day parking is affectionatly nicknamed St Waterfalls as the people who built it didn't bother to consult locals who might actually know how to build a building in the snow environment and it currently leaks! But back to the FRCM, they want the road cleared to make way for even more monstrous inappropriate developments, and to allow those developments to have underground carparking.

    I think that the roads should remain as they are. i think that the oversnow should be taken off the current owners and sold to a new owner who actaully wants to run the business properly and provide a decent service and ensure the FCRM have their future goals and vision for Falls aligned in the appropriate direction.


     
  26. sueski

    sueski One of Us

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    Madness!!

    So much of skiing Falls is about the delightful atmosphere of the village and it's ski in/ski out nature. There is nothing like skiing home with the groceries through the village, or squeaking through fresh on the way home from dinner.

    Falls may not have lots of things that other resorts in Australia do ... but Falls is the ONLY resort that offers the wonder of a ski in/ski out village and if FCRM are planning on messing with that they seriously misunderstand their market.

    The OS debate is irrelevant in that clearing the roads and opening them up to the public are two very different things. I'd say naive would be an apt description for anyone that thinks that snow free roads will equal free access through the village. Deal with the OS problem by all means, I'd love to see that! But for goodness sake don't mess with the uniqueness of the beautiful alpine village that is FC.

    Take away ski in/ski out and you take away the most compelling reason for me to ski Falls.
     
  27. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    hmm again no real thought given to the issues here .
    As carvedude said , you will still by definition require oversnow access of some form to get into the village , albeit with 4wd's like Buller even if the roads are cleared.
    In winter they are too narrow , and too steep for normal punters to drive up.
    If the core of the issue is guest transfer time and cost ( and i believe it is )
    i dont think cost will be any different with 4WD's ignoring the fact that the current OS vehicles need replacing.
    I think there are ways of them managing peak load better ( eg pre booking ) separating people delivery from luggage delivery .
    Of course someone may play the safety card , simple way of getting what you want without looking at logic or lateral answers.
     
  28. I.P. Freely

    I.P. Freely First Runs

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    On the safety issue, how many people have been hit/have hit the oversnow/skidoos over the past 10, 20, 30 years?

    If we mix silent cars (they'll probably suggest going green and using electric cars) with pedestrians there will be more accidents not less.

    I'd suggest upgrading the oversnow terminal (which probably hasn't been touched in 30 years) to cater for the greater number of passengers which come to FC (it probably wasn't designed for the current number or for the new influx units
     
  29. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    After using the oversnow at Buller, even whilst the roads were covered with snow like they are at Falls Creek, it was still a very well managed system.

    Why can't Falls do something like Buller? Honestly, clearing snow off the roads may make it quicker to navigate around the village, but its not going to solve the OS problem. The problem with Falls OS is that its just not organised enough, and its just not big enough to handle all the customers efficiently.

    Maybe employ the company who manages Buller OS, because i dont see how snow clearing roads is going to fix the problem, let alone improve it enough to justify destroying a perfectly good ski in ski out village.
     
  30. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    The first week in September is “in winter†….. in NSW anyway
     
  31. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Buller oversnow service is hardly perfect, but that's a topic for another thread - but the main difference is structural. At Buller the oversnow people pick you up at your car, whereas at Falls it's at the terminal. I think there are pros & cons for each system, but I haven't used either enough (especially the Buller service) to comment propertly.
     
  32. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    The Buller service is great, car to accomodation and never had to wait that long either [​IMG]
     
    #82 skiflat, Aug 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  33. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    yup, I'd agree with that.
     
  34. Scoo Ter

    Scoo Ter Hard Yards

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    So did anyone go along to the meeting today and is there anything that can be shared on the forum? Or were you told to keep all discussions secret - under threat of "if anyone lets anything leak out then we'll go ahead and do what we want without any further public consultation"? [​IMG]
     
    #84 Scoo Ter, Aug 11, 2008
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  35. Crystal

    Crystal (Sly made me Cry) - Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd be interested also in knowing what went down.

    So with the majority of people here upset about the road clearing...who has sent off an email about it ??
     
  36. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lets wait until we get more information from the meeting before we start making claims and sending off letters.
     
  37. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fair points carvedude , picking up at the car is good, problem with oversnow is they cant do that , and their turnaround time ( average speed) is way too slow given they are tracked vehicles.
    Either need a lot more of the Oversnow vehicles , and of course they are a lot more costly , or difficult to maintain than regular vehicles.

    In a perfect world, the ability to say arrive , check your luggage in , and get a seperate people shuttle to your accom straight away with your luggage following later would get rid of the angst, in terms of waiting around etc etc.

    It would also be interesting to examine any form of hyrbid traffic arrangement that allowed vehicles and still enabled a ski out capability with some compromizes both ways.?
     
  38. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't wish to derail the topic, (Heaven forbid :D) but Baw Baw also has snow covered roads and ski in/out, of course Baw Baw doesn't compare with Falls for size and overall ambience, just making a point!
     
    #88 Charlie, Aug 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  39. ausi ski bum

    ausi ski bum A Local

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    At the meeting today 100% of the people attending told the consultant that clearing the roads is not going to happen. They asked for a garantee this would not occur but got the normal we need to look at all options answer but it would be a very brave person to ignor the very loud and firm no.

    Everyone agreed that the transport issues need addressing but not at the expense of the towns greatest feature.

    The OS issues are not as simple as people imagine, for example the Over Snow terminal is owned by OS so you can't just open it up to a second operator and going to tender means someone has to either build a second one or somehow convince the current contractor to share or allow access (like you would).

    The current contract is nearing an end so this has meant that expenditure on assets would be difficult without a long term contract.

    The FCRM don't want to run the service they believe it would be better in private hands.

    Some suggested solutions included FCRM offering discounted gate entry to off peak periods to encourage people to arrive outside of the busy periods, OS also being cheaper out of peak periods.

    I believe the OS contract should be like the School Bus contracts with the need to maintain the average age of a fleet at say 10 to 12 years. This would mean the company running it would need to replace the oldest machines each year (about 7 -10% of the fleet a year).

    Some roads could have access and skiing trails combined, Falls Creek Road for example could be widened and have both or sections could be in a tunnel.

    Ski Bridges over the bogs couls also see skiers off the roads but not so they could be cleared but for safety.

    I also believe we need to look into snowmaking through the town on several main arteries.

    It will be interesting to see the recommendations of the consultants and if the objective is to address the concerns expressed for many year or if the emphasis will be development over skiers needs.

    I suggest people take the time to write their thoughts, ideas and concerns to FCRM, if they are asking the question now is the time to stop winging on the net and actually communicate your thoughts to the people that are actually listening.
     
  40. sueski

    sueski One of Us

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    A fair and reasonable point ASB. Have just sent them a lengthy (and perhaps somewhat terse) letter outlining my feelings on the subject!
     
    #90 sueski, Aug 11, 2008
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  41. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Email Sent !!!!!

    Anyone that posts in here MUST email fcrm@fallscreek.com.au or they will be banned

    [​IMG]

    No good whinging about it on here! Email !!!!!!!!!!!
     
    #91 skiflat, Aug 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  42. IAB

    IAB A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Email sent.
     
  43. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Email duly sent.
     
  44. Benn0

    Benn0 Old n' Crusty

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    I've only been to Falls once, and they didn't have any snow on the roads in 2006, so hard to comment. We did avoid the OS because of what we'd heard, and when we got there, the line up was out the door.

    Clearing the streets and allowing private car access doesn't seem to help those arriving by bus, and I can't imagine average punters driving on some of those narrow and steep roads. I think there could be a compromise on some of the wider streets to allow private vehicles access to drop off, while keeping the majority snow covered. But they still have to provide a better OS experience.

    I really don't understand why they can't tie a long contract to performance for a single provider (allowing for asset expenditure), and as suggested encourage visitors to arrive out of peak times, and better coordinate with coach arrivals. Seems strange that Falls Creek is the one resort in the world (over stating I know) that can't provide effective and comfortable guest transfers.

    If pedestrian access is a problem on snow covered roads, just build more access ways where needed, not sure I would like to walk on cleared, icy roads at Falls. In any case I will continue to avoid using an OS service that I have to pay extra for when I can easily walk (no matter how good it is), so don't really have an opinion other than I agree it wouldn't be as pretty if cleared. That wouldn't stop me from going there though.
     
  45. dickyknees63

    dickyknees63 Hard Yards

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  46. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have skied falls Creek many times as I live nearby.
    The locals like it cos it is uncrowded so we are not pro development and St Falls is plain dumb .
    why would you want to reduce car parking?
    Everybody thinks the Oversnow sucks.
    However clearing the roads in most seasons will not change anything as the roads are way too narrow + steep for the average driver to go to their lodge.
     
  47. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates One of Us

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    Email sent on Sunday night. Thanks for the update ASB. A bigger terminal with newer vehicles may go part way towards a solution (clearing the roads won't). 2c
     
  48. Xcape

    Xcape Old n' Crusty

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  49. FCLODGE1

    FCLODGE1 Hard Yards

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    Yep, I was at the morning session... I am still gathering my thoughts and other people have plans afoot to address some of the issues in relation to everyones favourite transport topic at Falls.. I think it is going to be an interesting time over the next few months... certainly an expensive exercise for FCRM (opp's I mean us as tax payers!) to get SKM in..
     
  50. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    This is a tipping point for Falls, the biggest opportunity in years to make the long needed leap into a quality ski resort, OS has been a huge anchor to its development, the resort can't be taken seriously until they get this integral cog right.

    They need to play big like you would see Thredbo and a Buller do in this situation terminal a problem ? sweep it aside and build a new one, this is the time for decisive action that will fix what has been Falls Creeks limp for years, get this right and the place will flourish I reckon, fiddle around the edges and the resort will never make ground on the other 3 strong mountains.

    A big risk I think is stakeholders rigidity in approaching different options that might have to be explored, for example some sort of compromise with snow cover on the roads, keeping the roads covered is important, fixing this crucial entry/movement around the resort is more important I believe.

    If they opt to keep all the roads covered and still fail to solve this properly they run a big risk of making little progress in the long run.
     
    #100 Hunter, Aug 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013