Latest visitor numbers

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Dave Clark, Aug 10, 2018 at 10:16 AM.

  1. Dave Clark

    Dave Clark Hard Yards

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    This is why you need to get in early on the weekends at Buller, Baw Baw & Lake Mtn. Note the big thing is the % change 10yr YTD ave to 2018 - 32% up - really shows the strength of the industry in Vic.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. TOFF

    TOFF All bits and giggles
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    Great that the industry is strong.
    Any fears in the industry that a tipping point might soon be reached?

    Day car parks closing etc will ultimately upset some.
     
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  3. skiflat

    skiflat Part of the Furniture

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    Massive increase in visitors at Buller while Falls is down vs last year.

    People leaving Falls for Buller?

    From my armchair buller have managed the weekend parking pretty well while falls has failed.

    Last week I think it was. They pushed out an app message st 1015am saying day car parking is full. Please park at Mt Beauty and get a 215pm bus......

    Fail
     
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  4. Timmossy

    Timmossy Hard Yards

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    I'm guessing that's numbers through the gate and not visitor days? So for places like Lake Mountain and Stirling the number of visitors is the same as visitor days as there's minimal overnight accommodation (unless you're tenting it).
     
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  5. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    Buller is at a tipping point on the weekends and IMO needs to look at the snow play stance that the NSW resorts have taken.

    There are hundreds of millions of dollars invested on Buller by BSL and other businesses and apartments / clubs / lodges - the vast majority of which is to cater for skiers and snowboarders. In a number of ways the snow play explosion is impinging on the ski / snowboard experience so as you can imagine there’s some pretty miffed people up here.

    There’s a weak argument that today’s snow player is tomorrow’s skier but for the most part I don’t buy it.

    In the shop we see plenty of people beginning their snow journey and I think that schools and by extension the interschools are a massive driver of converting new skiing families.
     
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  6. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    agree about the Falls parking fail. If car parks are full, put on shuttle buses - free if you already have an entry pass.

    howeverI think the overall stats say that Falls, and to a lesser extent Hotham are more consistent with their visitation with the closer to Melbourne resorts being more susceptible to poor seasons. Not surprisingly good snow close to melbourne eats into Falls & Hotham.
     
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  7. skiflat

    skiflat Part of the Furniture

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    Bit sad as Falls has not seen an increase in visitors this year to be honest

    For the next few years we will be skiing at Falls quite a bit with a smattering of Hotham..
     
  8. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Been doing a few Falls stays, 2 days in 2015 and again 2017 seasons and stay o-night in Tawonga.
     
  9. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    A good year at Baw-Baw and Lake mountain reduces visitation at the resorts further from Melbourne.

    However, if/ as the snow peters out later in the season, Falls may pick up....
     
  10. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    I would think Falls is pretty safe, it's always been the best for beginners, families and intermediates which is a huge chunk of the industry, when Buller is firing there is little reason to go to Hotham for a short trip though.
     
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  11. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    Don't tell the true Hothamites that, they won't entertain the idea of going to Buller. Even if they've never actually been there.
     
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  12. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    Oh so so very true.
     
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  13. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Buller - awesome terrain all round when it’s on, and when it’s not....
     
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  14. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Who says we want them too come to Buller.
     
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  15. skiflat

    skiflat Part of the Furniture

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    Hotham is up

    Falls the only mountian to be down on total visitors YTD over 2017
     
  16. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Falls a bit behind on marketing and visitor experience optimisation but picking up.

    Numbers still good - everyone’s making money.
     
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  17. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Agree with the free shuttle buses. We’re slow to catch on here in Oz. Some of the bigger NZ Souther Lakes fields have been (or were in recent decade) offering free shuttle buses from the valley floor for years while our resorts rubbed hands with glee as car added $50 odd a day to their kitty. If NZ can do this with their smaller nos. Surely we can follow?

    One tricky issue is equity. With car passes, single drivers get slugged while 7-9 seat mini van people pay a relative pittance. This grates on me as there’s days when I cant rideshare.

    With a shuttle bus system, we know it needs to be within the current (car) day pass structure to work. But bus. Companies will want a fee per visitor system - which may not work well for the resort or the big SUV & mini van families.

    So the resort would have to find a workable subsidy per person and enforce a bus-only policy to make it work. Plus actually find (&fund) the valley car parks & buses.

    Its a big ask. But then again do resorts, lift co.s & businesses want people (riders) or not? Is the ski industry a bit of a giggle (hobby?) or serious business?

    Time for some tough decisions by resort managers. And no better time than on the back of 2 good years. If they dither, and 1-2 poor seasons transpire, people soon forget parking issues and the issue percolates.

    Oh and surely Buller must be investigating a large access godola/ cable tram by now? At least check engineering opions, financial, environmental aspects, etc...?
     
  18. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture
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    You could reverse that and it would be equally true.
     
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  19. Timmossy

    Timmossy Hard Yards

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    Well I’ve been skiing Hotham for 30 years and have a season pass for both. Knocked up about 10 days at each this year.
     
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  20. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    A few Canadian resorts (Banff) have a similar system. Personally I think all Aussie resorts should consider especially the NSW ones running a service from Jindy just makes sense.

    Haha don’t let the Teckle and team bears read this, what NSW doing something better and how dare you ban toboggan’s.
     
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  21. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Problem with NSW vs what they do in NZ is the pesky Npws per pax surcharge . Not viable.
     
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  22. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Yeah it ****s it. Also for any of the driver/shuttle car services.
     
  23. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    I totally agree, I think this needs to be worked out to solve the parking issue. This is more @climberman area of expertise but surely there is an answer. I know the NPWS make a lot out of park entry but something needs to change.
     
  24. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    The vast bulk of the winter entry fee is to run the poo works at Perisher. Search for the IPART report if you're interested in the details.
     
  25. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    To tackle this congestion thingo we need to break the link between cars and money. If we just see more cars as more income, we’ll just fill every part of the hill.

    Our cities are trying to tackle this issue with mass transit - including buses and rail. Our mountains are just at the leading edge if this ‘wedge’. At least some are discussing the issue. But I think the solution is much more complex than banning tobogganing and snowmen making. (This wont sit well in NSW Govt/Parks in the future Imo)!
     
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  26. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    I was only talking about shuttle bus when csr parks are full, but it could be broader.

    Set a per person fee (discouunted for kids & maybe seniors) that is revenue neutral and apply it to all forms of transport. Season entry modeled on 2 adults in a car? Enforcement would be a big issue. Currently it's based on cars found in resort without a valid pass. Hard to see how you could detect too many people in car without significantly increasing costs.

    I'd settle for frequent shuttle bus for no added cost over car entry, for days where full car parks are likely. Make it cheaper for singles to use the shuttle. Maybe see if they can get enough car parks at bogong village to make it park&ride. Might even revitalise the place
     
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  27. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    I’d model the car price on the number of seats in the car, standard four seater pays for four people.
     
  28. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Buller just announced 12PM parking at Mirimbah will commence shortly
     
  29. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    sounds like a reasonable approach, as long as shuttle buses are fairly frequent. building some sort of basic shelter at mirimbah might be a good idea though
     
  30. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Shuttle bus is standing room only mid week and that just from Horse hill to Village.
    Standing on the bus all the way up the road would be a long trip and frankly unsafe, if a bus leaves the road there will be a high toll.

    This is a band aid for a sucking chest wound.

    The only way to fix this is put facilities on Stirling and clear a toboggan park and paths for sight seeing and RMB directing buses of them to Stirling and not Buller.

    The gondola from the bottom of the mountain wont work for sight seeing patrons.
    It'll just over load facilities in the village and unless it goes to the village square form Mirimbah which is not possible it'll result in pedestrians walking all over top of Bk St
    As it is they go up Nth Side now and are walking across the top of Tirol and Shakey Knees.

    Thursday I had some of them standing on the Tirol T bar track, as I came up i waved at them and said Hello, but truth is my motive for doing that was more to get their attention they were blocking the lift path and they waved back as they moved off the path.
     
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  31. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    BTW on Thursday I saw a group of Chinese people in ski lesson up at Kofflers having lunch with the instructor taking selfies.
    So while the majority of sight seeing people may not translate into skiers, some of them are and I've got a feeling I will see more groups of Chinese folk on skis.
     
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  32. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    The next time I advertise a job I will definitely be considering candidates who speak Mandarin/Cantonese.

    But as I posted earlier I think that the schools are still a big driver of this.
     
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  33. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    At this stage you are right but might be worth you talking to the ski hire shops to see the type of patrons in there, I suspect they are more the first port of call for new skiers rather than new gear shop but if that keeps up you might start seeing more of them in a season or two from now.
     
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  34. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Missed that before I posted last reply, but great idea.
     
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  35. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Mmm re Northside, could BSL not employ some bilingual hosts and remind people its not only dangerous to walk across runs but illegal and fine is x$? Provide similar people at bus stop maybe even announcements on bus in various languages.

    May need to better rope off runs from walkers, make no walking signs larger & clear. Make Entrances for skiers smaller. Sad to say dumb it down more like herding sheep. Open porous runs clearly dont work. Not at Buller. Perhaps not the busier parts of Lake Mn or Bawbs.

    DB Im not against sharing Stirling but its currently tiny and would need probably 10-20 $m or more to get it up to even a BB type size/std. Base would have to move to the Machinery Shed (1450m) to have a good chance of snow play. At 1240m TBJ is unusable most of the season. This & last year be ok for say 2 months out of four.

    So a big funding boost by State Govt to MBSAR required. We best start this soon - might take ten years with permits etc... ??

    Ideas & thoughts?

    And also a good opportunity to upgrade xc snow Access & ski facilities. (;-)
     
  36. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Hmmm, now where have I read that before?

    In 1933 The Sun newspaper sensationally reported that 'war' had erupted between skiers and tobogganists and that a skier used an axe to destroy a toboggan that had been used on a designated ski run.

    'Several parties of visitors arrived to see the snow, and in the nature of their kind, engaged in snow-balling (which we did not mind) and selected... our groomed ski run to wallow through (which we did mind). Some of my remarks were, I fear, more pointed than polite.'
    Eric Stewart complaining about 'tourists' invading ski runs in 1928.
    So nothing has changed in 90 years.:deadhorse:

    Source: Chapter 3.2 'Crowding', of the online book Donna Buang: the forgotten ski resort.
     
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  37. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    I don't think roping an fencing is going to fix it, there is already fencing up part of Bk St.
    The issue with them coming off Northside is they walk toward the village across to top of runs and there is no way around that.
    The paths is also not well marked and its a bit hard to put up signage that present a safety hazard to skiers coming down the hill.
    Besides that people walking on ski runs is a secondary issue, the main issues now are overload of parking and the village amenities including the toboggan areas.

    The main bus area is at Skating Rink where there is a shuttle bus stop to the village as well as Horse Hill near the ski hire, once they get off there they can go to Northside.
    Some time ago there was a plan to have a lift from Horse hill area or thereabouts to the Village that would negate the need for pedestrians to use Northside and they could stop buses letting passengers of at horse hill and force them all to alight at Skating Rink and use the shuttle to the village.

    But none of that deals with overload at the village and forcing everyone to use the village shuttle results in massive lines at the bus depot in the village.
    Which ever way it is going to be solved is not going to be cheap.
    Employing people to herd cats is costly too and does not make for a welcoming experience visiting the mountain being treated like cattle.

    As much as I a skier want the resorts run for our benefit and us given priority at the end of the day those resorts are public land and everyone has a right to visit the place regardless of their purpose for doing so and I suspect Govts feel the same way.

    The fact is Buller is running out of room on the weekends.
    That leaves Stirling as the only real alternative to simply spread the people out over both resorts,

    No solution is going to be cheap to this so it is cost 10 million to fix it then that's what it costs.
    If the Govt really wants to facilitate Alpine tourism and doesn't want private enterprise running it then Govt will have to put up and if that involves expediting permits then so be it.
    Stirling is a 4wd mecca in summer so it is not really an environmentally sensitive location and there is no compelling reason why it cant be developed more to host more parking for buses or some form of facilities to serve sigh seeing and tobogganing.
    Looking at the size of the toboggan area at LM that is not a lot of space to clear.
     
  38. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Crystal ball gazing, minimum required by Stirling to accommodate ~ 'Baw Baw levels' (ie 10 fold) of visitation.

    - seal the road to TBJ, and possibly further to a new base?
    - clear & seal expanded car & bus parking.
    - install grid electricity from valley floor.
    - install sewerage suitable for new visitor levels.
    - expanded base area (wherever? Higher up hill).
    - expanded toboggan runs, snowmaking & possibly a carpet or two.
    - expanded staff (easy bit!)
    - recut XC trails for higher base.

    Just saying - this is not impossible. But there's not a lot of votes for a state govt. funding this.
     
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  39. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    And no guarantee that snowplayers would choose to go there rather than Buller. Falls still gets lots of snowplay people despite being more expensive than buffalo.
     
  40. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Ill go through that lot then

    Sealing the road to Baldy Loop intersection.
    Clear and seal parking at TBJ, part of it is already cleared.
    Install grid from a substation at Buller Road just over the valley from TBJ is not far.
    Install sewerage which it should have anyway since it has visitors all year round, keeping in mind it a 4WD area over summer.
    It doesn't need more ski runs it just needs more than one toboggan area and sight seeing which could be done by pushing farther up circuit road to Baldy Loop intersection or even River Spur trail intersection that is at a higher elevation.
    It doesn't need a carpet anymore than LM does.
    It doesn't need what BB has it only needs what LM has.

    In fact just pushing TBJ area up to baldy loop trail with parking on it would expand the ability to house more vehicles there with nearby toboggan areas.
    If it gets more patrons using it then that justifies other works before even committing to the rest of it.
    It does not need to all occur at one time.
     
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  41. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Snow players at Falls do not come from Melb for the day so there is no comparison..
     
  42. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    no but Albury/Wodonga, Wangaratta etc snowplayers have a choice of Buffalo or Falls (or Hotham). I think the comparison is valid
     
  43. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    What amenities are there are Buffalo in Winter ?
    Also keep in mind they are 2 seperate locations quite a distance form one another.
    Buller and Stirling are almost one location and visitors to both go through the same parking control booth who can direct them as well as the marketing of both resorts as one location opens potential to shift more to Stirling.
     
  44. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    The single entry point is a big advantage. Can't stop them going to Buller if that's what they prefer though
     
  45. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Parking can do what it likes with buses.
    But more to the point, the reason they go to Buller is also they don't know about Stirling or that it has toboggan facilities.
    Everything on the Stirling web site suggests it is cross country skiing only with very little reference to toboggan and walking..

    If they were advised Stirling has toboggan areas and less crowded than Buller they may chose Stirling.
    The current problem with Stirling though is that there is nowhere for pedestrians to wander around as all trails are exclusively dedicated to skiers, and there is only one small toboggan area.

    Hence my suggestion that if they seal the TBJ area and up to Baldy Loop intersection they could not just have more parking and another toboggan area but they could have somewhere for pedestrians to wander around in the snow sight seeing.
     
  46. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    See here

    http://www.mtstirling.com.au/facilities.php

    Note to walk anywhere beyond TBJ you need to hire snow shoes and I doubt many of those who just want to walk around a little and look at snow and build a snow man are willing to hire snow shoes.

    They could run a shuttle snow trailer behind a machine up to the summit and have an area up there for people to walk around and see the sights.
    There is a large area up there and skiers use the trail.
     
  47. DbSki

    DbSki Part of the Furniture
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    Today Buller now parking at Mirimbah from 11AM on.
    Its only a matter of time before it fills up even early.
     
  48. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    LM & BB aren't on the grid.
     
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  49. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable
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    Counting cars is not counting skiers .....

    Car visitation is way up. The cars that ate skiing .....
     
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  50. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Yes they do..... there are many who arrive late morning/early to late arvo to snow play and are driving back to Melbourne the same day. This is a fact!