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FCRM Wants to Clear the Roads

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

  1. IAB

    IAB A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is the reply I got from Falls Creek today:

    ---
    Thank you for your email. All thoughts and contributions to the Village Access and Transport Study are gratefully received and will be forwarded to the project consultants, Sinclair Knight Merz.

    We appreciate your input.

    Regards

    Falls Creek Resort Management
    ---

    You've probably all had the same thing. It was a bit of a nothing reply but I was pleased to see that they are acknowledging emails. It wasn't an automated reply as my first name was used in the salutation (and the reply came 3 days later).
     
  2. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I fail to see how clearing the roads will make much difference. Do we have any stats or evidence as to how it will improve transport time between lodges and oversnow? I'm guess the only reason for clearing the roads is too reduce time. How much time will be reduced? How many minutes are we talking about. Does the current OS problem even have anythign to do with transport time, or is it just lack of management, and lack of resources?


    How many more OS vehicles would they need to run a smooth service on snow covered roads, compared to how many they would need on non-snow covered roads?

    Is the problem transport time or is it managing hordes of customers coming from the car park > terminal > lodge.

    We need way more information before we start to speculate on whether clearing the roads leads much benifit and all, and whether this benifit is worth destroying a ski in ski out village for.
     
    #102 Stratus, Aug 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  3. dickyknees63

    dickyknees63 Hard Yards

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    Ditto. Word for word same. But that's reasonable. As long as we are being heard.
     
  4. foxhound

    foxhound First Runs

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    The Oversnow monopoly contract requires not less than 150 seats as the minimum oversnow passenger vehicle capacity (probably requiring at least 15 vehicles). Plus there is a requirement to maintain a 4WD bvehicle fleet with a capacity of not less than 40 seats (probably requiring at least 8 vehicles)

    The contract provides that waiting times should be no longer than fifteen minutes from arrival at the oversnow terminal and also fifteen minutes from appointed time or phone call for pick-up.

    The Oversnow monopoly has to go, but the roads must be kept covered with snow.

    (Submission lodged)
     
  5. DVS

    DVS Hard Yards

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    I note in the "issues to consider list" no mention was made of "how to get skiers from their accommodation to the lift and back". Sure, cleared roads might make arrival and departure from the resort bit easier, but then how does everyone get around during their stay? The single biggest selling point for Falls is the ski-in ski-out character. Without it, the place not only reduces accessibility, but the ambience would be totally destroyed.

    Having said that. I suspect this is a negotiation technique. Clearing the roads would allow non-FCOS vehicles to access the village, destroying its monopoly. The threat of this might just be enough to force them to pick up their act.
     
  6. Benn0

    Benn0 Old n' Crusty

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    I think it's more to do with customer experience, than just speed or efficiency. When people are paying $1000's to come and stay you have certain expectations about your experience at the resort. I'm guessing customer feedback has identified transfer to accommodation as a current problem. Being able to drive to your lodge might make people feel better about their arrival, but possibly at the cost of the village aesthetics.

    Personally I'd be happy with some decent stairs and walk ways, but if I had to cart kids up I may want something easier/quicker/cleaner/friendlier/etc than what is currently offered......
     
    #106 Benn0, Aug 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  7. I.P. Freely

    I.P. Freely First Runs

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    DVS - oversnow will still control the boomgates, they will not allow private vehicles to use the roads (it would be bedlam). They will apparently allow lodge owners to take their deliveries up to the lodges though (whoopy).
     
  8. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    But see there lies the fault. At this point as far as i know, even if the roads were cleared, customers still WOULDN'T be able to drive up to their lodge.
    And if you were, well a season pass of lodge driving costs $1000 at Buller, i'm guessing similar or more at falls.

    The idea is to improve OVERSNOW so people dont HAVE to drive up to their lodge.

    Lets simpify this simple question to FC....how are non snow covered roads going to improve OS?

    Because up untill now, its all been specualtion, and quite frankly have FCRM haven't exactly been good at filling people in on details [​IMG]
     
    #108 Stratus, Aug 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  9. Benn0

    Benn0 Old n' Crusty

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    Yeah, good point. I guess the consultants will look at what the customers are saying is the problem, and put forward some options to fix it. But I don't think the best option will necessarily be what ever gets guests to their rooms the fastest. I think comfort and lack of hassle will be important to customers. I guess it will be wait and see.....

    Not sure if this idea has been mentioned, but what about an option of guests walking to lodges with better pedestrian access, pathways/stairs/etc. (or comfy shuttle bus if preferred) and luggage is delivered separately???? It doesn't matter what the troop carriers/utes look like for that, and costs would be low. And it wouldn't be a struggle to get to your room if you're not carrying anything. Guests get to take in the beauty of a snow covered village as they arrive, would make for a pretty good first impression?
     
  10. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Except guests arriving in poor weather or at midnight on Friday may not be too keen on "taking in the beauty of a snow covered village". I walk to the lodge I'm staying at all the time, but I carry a pack backcountry. Most punters have not walked more than 100 metres carrying stuff for years.

    Everyone agrees that clearing the snow covered roads is insane because it is one of Falls' best marketing points.

    Instead, shoot the oversnow owners and issue a new PERFORMANCE BASED contract. Better still issue two contracts to new oversnow operators, there is nothing better than a bit of old fashioned competition to fix the problems associated with monopolies like poor service, long waits, uncomfortable rides. high prices, etc.
     
  11. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Duopolies work well.

    Just ask Woolworths and Coles.

    [​IMG]
     
    #111 Ian D, Aug 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  12. foxhound

    foxhound First Runs

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    If the roads are cleared it would destroy the alpine village ambience of Falls Creek and the absence of a ski in / ski out capability would massively increase the transport task for the village shuttle service. Either that or guests would experience the dubious joy of trudging around in their ski boots on sealed roads - much like at a certain NSW resort. Maybe a better idea would be to install plenty of snowguns along the roads in order to ensure that a decent snowcover is maintained.
     
  13. I.P. Freely

    I.P. Freely First Runs

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    The lodge owners adjacent to Wombats Ramble had this argument when they proposed installing snowmaking on the hometrail - the complaint was the noise generated by the snowmakers.
     
    #113 I.P. Freely, Aug 20, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  14. foxhound

    foxhound First Runs

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    O/T - yes there were those objections, which in my opinion were myopic and not evidence-based. Unlike the older 'Ned Kelly' models, the current generation of snowmakers are not noisy. The snowguns on the Home Trail and Wombats Ramble will now enable ski in / ski out to last longer, for the benefit of those lodge residents (and everyone else).
     
  15. CarlM

    CarlM First Runs

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    A "car free" village is arguably one of the best selling points that we fail to recognize. As soon as you allow cars in on cleared roads you get all the associated noise. That decimates the village atmosphere. FC's lack of loud vehicle noise, especially at night, is a delight. Walking across snow covered roads with feet crunching away after dinner is a delight. No way will you let the kids play outside in the snow if you know vehicles are up and down, driven by often inexperienced (snow/mouintain) drivers. Black ice occurrence is likely to be much higher with all the collateral damage that arises from that to people, drivers and buildings.

    As soon as you get cars up there you will get some drunken idiot slamming into people or going off the edge. Given the layout of roads and buildings it will simply be a matter of time before someone loses it over an edge and goes through a building just by attempting to turn around or by parking too close to the shoulder. The costs of guard railings, turning areas, shoulder strengthening, guttering and reinforcement, parking and/or loading bays will be enormous and monies much better spent elsewhere. Surfaces will need greater after-winter maintenance as they will be more exposed to freeze-thaw cycles and will have a higher volume of traffic. More costs. The more blacktop that is put down in the bowl/village area the more the local micro-climate will be effected, with ground temperatures up.

    ASB and others are right on the money, this is a dumb idea. Competitive bidding for a season or contracted period of OS provision at a set minimum standard of operation on a fixed schedule is probably the best approach.

    The one advantage of the car idea is that a few of them might start denting or demolishing St Falls and other ugly designs that are abounding on the hill.
     
  16. foxhound

    foxhound First Runs

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    O/T "St Falls" ... LOL. I heard it colloquially referred to on the hill as "St Waterfalls" on the basis that the former car park structure allegedly has some water ingress problems. As with Oversnow (and Oversnow Food), given any choice I'm unlikely to go anywhere near it.
     
  17. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    But what Falls Creek really lacks is a town centre. Unlike Buller, Thredbo and even Baw Baw, everything is dispersed all over the place. Okay it's not as bad as Hotham and anything is better than the mess at Perisher.

    But a good town centre shopping and restaurant area would give focus to the place. If St Falls is the nucleus for this, then I guess I'm for it.
     
  18. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    ....or Visy and Amcor!
    [​IMG]
     
    #118 Charlie, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  19. Xcape

    Xcape Old n' Crusty

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    I don't know why people insist on rabbiting on about the oversnow. I have never felt the need to complain about it myself. You hand over your money, hop on the transport and it takes you to your accommodation. On leaving, you ring them up, stand out the front of your lodge and catch it back down. All part of the experience. The cost has never bothered me, the service has never bothered me and quite frankly I'm sick of seeing people whinge about it. If you don't like it, go ski somewhere else.

    Leave the roads at Falls snowcovered and close your ears to the idiots who whinge about it.
     
  20. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    Okay,

    I've just arrived back in sweet Adelaide from my annual pilgrimage to Falls. The title of this thread makes me shudder. My opinion :

    There must be no clearing of any snow anywhere, on any street

    I NEVER want to forgo the sheer joy of stepping out the front door of my lodge and stepping straight into my skis.

    Not to mention, the sheer CONVENIENCE.

    Returning from the lovely dry snow of recent weeks, I was able to ski straight from the top of Summit Chair down into the bowl, and with the snow in the village so abundant and dry,I continued down Falls Creek Road. A hairpin turn at the Country Club, then down the lane and under the Gully Chair to the doorstep of Gebi's.

    An extended ski run that would not be possible on bitumen.
     
  21. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's also possible if you just ski down under the gully chair......
     
    #121 CarveMan, Aug 29, 2008
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  22. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Onya X.......a bit of sanity in this thread!
    [​IMG]
     
    #122 Charlie, Aug 29, 2008
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  23. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    At a wild guess it might have something to do with the fact the entire transport system including the oversnow is a shocker, bad enough to be the most talked about problem with Falls Creek ( or any of the resorts for that matter )ever since I have been on this forum, bad enough for the resorts own RMB to step up and try to tackle this wet sail.
     
    #123 Hunter, Aug 29, 2008
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  24. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The tender has been put out before, however the cost of the infrastructure puts off prospective bidders. I suppose if the RMB make the guidelines very stringent either the current incumbent would have to lift their game or sell!
     
  25. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    And miss the excitement of the pedestrian slalom challenge ? [​IMG]
     
    #125 snowduck, Aug 30, 2008
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  26. Xcape

    Xcape Old n' Crusty

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    Really Hunter? One would never have guessed it. Take my earlier post and hit the reply button to your above comment.

    Duh!
     
    #126 Xcape, Aug 31, 2008
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  27. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    Sorry dont follow you, which earlier post exactly ?
     
  28. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The oversnow unfortunately does provide a bad experience to falls visitors and im sure that is why they are considering this proposal in the first place.
    However as said , you need to analyse these surveys deeply to understand the real frustrations of the public.
    ie cost is certainly one , but sheer inconvenience is another .
    Dig further it probably relates to wait times more than anything.
    I think that the ability to step out of your car , unload into some form of container then immediately get a passenger only shuttle up to your lodge will negate the wait times .
    Then the luggage arrives on hour or so later , but yourve had a time to unwind in your lodge , not freeze to death , not be dripped on by water condensing off the roof.
    So it will be cheaper for the OS contractor just to buy a few (people only) oversnow vehicles and keep the beyond thunderdome rustbuckets for transporting luggage etc.
    As for total cost , a suggestion is to incorporate some of this into car parking , oar at least the ability to pay it once ( a la Buller) paying twice sucks.
    There may also need to be some consideration into cross subsidies for oversnow ,but i wont want to tax the powers that be too much in lateral thinking .
    Total cost is important , they also should look at what component of the resort entry cost goes to fixed costs versus variable, particularly the year round management wages etc . This is where perhaps some shared governance and infrastructure across a few resorts would be more efficient . Of course no one likes to give up their power base or perks for the greater good.
    Perhaps Mr Thwaites should be employed to run oversnow [​IMG]
     
    #128 skimax, Sep 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  29. Benn0

    Benn0 Old n' Crusty

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    I agree, and if you aren't carrying luggage, most should be fit enough to walk to their accom if they prefer.

    They would need to make sure there wasn't too much wait time to check your luggage at oversnow, otherwise the benefit would be gone.
     
    #129 Benn0, Sep 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  30. Benn0

    Benn0 Old n' Crusty

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    No I'm saying get oversnow to carry your stuff, punters have the option of walking or the free shuttle.
     
    #130 Benn0, Sep 1, 2008
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  31. Ulmerhutte

    Ulmerhutte One of Us

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    For mine, the greatest issue is the cost versus the service. Even at non-peak times, it often takes over 1/2 hour to get a lift up from Oversnow to where we stay on Parallel St, ie a trip of perhaps 500 metres(?) often takes longer than the 30km drive from Mt Beauty to Falls. That is not reasonable for $36/couple fare.

    My suggestions:

    1. Replace the oversnow vehicles (which must have been fully depreciated before skiing was invented) with a fleet of tracked Landcruisers. Cost - about $100K each. Need to do some research on capacity, but suspect that something like 6 - 10 might be required.

    2. Augment the Landcruisers with a fleet of snow mobiles with trailers, for those who just want their luggage delivered to their accom, with one passenger being carried for unloading. (Much like the service at Hotham at Jack Frost.)

    3. Re-build the oversnow terminal so that the roof extends over the car unloading area, the unloading platform/porch is flat, and there are clearly delineated queues for each group of lodges.

    Yes, this is probably a $2+mio project, but oversnow has been a cash cow for too long - time for an upgrade.
     
  32. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah good points ulmer ,
    gotta separate passengers from freight , will massively reduce the capital requirements.
    Re-org the oversnow such that luggage containers /sleds can be loaded directly from the car and tagged to the lodge straight away .I see it more of a people and process re-org down here rather than anything massive in building work ( simple de-bottlenecking process really )
    If people didnt have to fight their way to the ticket office and instead could unload into a container straight away , shazam the unload times would dramatically reduce and all of a sudden you wouldnt have massive car queues and far better segmentation of people and luggage.
    A people only shuttle would dramatically reduce the turn around time for getting them to their lodges , ie you wouldnt waste 10 minutes unloading stuff , and therefore the resort would need less of these expensive machines.
    as said luggage carrier sleds/wagons or the existing crap could be used to move luggage in an efficient manner ( from a logistics point of view) Hmm let me think im a first timer to falls , i arrive at 11pm on friday in a blizzard .
    Would i
    a. want to wait for an hour to get luggage and tired kids up a hill in a rusty wet oversnow full of chickens , and vegetables , or
    b. Have oversnow paid for at the mountain entry gate .
    Mountain entry gate could send message of Passengers , lodge destination , car rego etc in advance to oversnow . ( potentially car park dude at falls with advance knowledge of car rego on his PDA could then allocate a parking bay number for oversnow . Park , unload into your luggage sled , jump into waiting people transport and get to the lodge in 10 minutes .
    Have beer , relax and in 1 hour when the luggage arrives go and bring it in ..possibly preceeded by SMS message from transport company when luggage sled departs oversnow .

    hmm know which one i would choose, potentially same net time , big difference in peoples value perception of the service !
     
  33. pansnow

    pansnow First Runs

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    I went to falls creek for the first time in early August before this I had skied been sking persiher and using over snow.
    Perisher oversnow is also run by the 1 comany hans oversnow and It gets very busy when ever the train comes in with aload of passangers.
    I havne,t been to perisher for many years but the way it used to run was you would go up to the ticket office buy your tickets and say what lodge you are going to.
    Then you sit back and wait till they call out that they have cat for lodge A, LodgeB what ever you don,t have to line up jiust wait until you get called.
    Here is my idea and it wouldn,t cost to much.

    Step 1. Back car into unloading bay unload gear from car move it into waiting area. Purchase ticket you give lodge name and you get a number 1 person can line up to do this.
    Step 2. Person not dropping car of at parking spot stays with luggage park car.
    Step 3. Once person has returned from dropping of car everyone can wait in the one spot hey if its going to be a bit of wait why not to have coffe shop there or bar bit like an airport dept lounge.
    Step 4. Once your cat is there to load you number is called and off you go. you don,t have to line up with luggage.

    It would be bit like waiting for a plane
    You could have a much bigger doorway which would make it much simpler with lots of luggage.
    This method would make it a lot easier for people with kids. When we where there in August one of us had to drop the car off while the other had to try and struggle with all the luggage on a trolley plus to small children in tow and and line up for a ticket at the same time not a lot of fun after driving all day.

    The number system would be very simple to put on the bottom of a ticket it would save a lot of dramas when it is busy.
     
  34. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Er and the kids do what while the adults are amusing themselves in the bar/coffee shop?
     
  35. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    They sit still and bloody well behave themselves!
    [​IMG]
     
    #135 Charlie, Sep 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  36. foxhound

    foxhound First Runs

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    Imagine any other place (maybe North Korea) where only one taxi company is allowed to operate.

    The oversnow contract has monopoly provisions that preclude competition from any other operators, including hotels and lodges, providing alternative transport (grandfathering provisions allow the limited number of hotels etc which had their own transport at the time to retain it). When you have monopolies the outcome is inevitably high prices ('monopoly rents'), poor service or in this case, both.

    One of the reasons why the [Hans] Oversnow at Perisher is probably more efficient is that many lodges etc have their own (or shared) vehicles which provides some competitive pressure and it spreads the transport task.

    Treat the oversnow operation like a taxi service (by distance travelled Falls Creek Oversnow is probably one of the most expensive in the world) and simply allow other 'taxis' (in various configurations) to compete.
     
  37. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    In your dreams! The little blighters run around annoying the other patrons!
     
    #137 Apresski, Sep 2, 2008
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  38. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    and wot's wrong with that?
     
  39. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bit of parental discipline stops kid being little sh!ts.
    Edit: Oh, hang on, that's not fahsionable these days, is it?
     
  40. pansnow

    pansnow First Runs

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    Hey its called nintendo DS.
    Have a new game at the ready bring it out just when you need it that will keep them busy for hours.
    We did this on they way over from Adel. just when they where about to kill each over we would pull out a new game.
    Just wait until Big W has a sale and then you get them cheap and you stash them till you need them.
     
  41. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Seperate luggage/cargo and passenger service is something that I also think would really work. I have already forwarded this as a submission to FCRM and they have confirmed that they have forwarded to consultants.
     
  42. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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    Why don't they just do what Buller does, ie meet you at your car after you have paid at the gate, load the luggage on the roof and drive to lodge, only difference required is a rear track on the 4wd ?
     
  43. Stratus

    Stratus A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    EXACTLY what i had been thinking.
     
    #143 Stratus, Sep 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  44. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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  45. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  46. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    at the meeting, the idea of separating luggage and passengers was raised. it was talked down by most of the vocal players- much too quickly. I have also put in a submission to the consultants and pushed the separation of luggage and people as a real option that needs to be considered (among many other points I raised).
     
    #146 currawong, Sep 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  47. Ulmerhutte

    Ulmerhutte One of Us

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    There have been some good suggestions, which makes think/hope that a solution can be found that fixes the transport question AND keeps the snow on the road.
     
  48. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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  49. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter

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  50. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    the difference this year is that there is a lot of money being spent to seriously look at all the issues around village transport. It may come to nothing, or it may make stupid decisions, or it may come up with a better future way of operating. those of us who love falls creek are trying to achieve the latter. sniping and flaming just undermine attempts to influence things for the better. It is apalling when it's done by people who have no intention of skiing Falls.