Mt Buffalo Chalet - What's the current status?

Xplora

One of Us
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We all know that in the case of the chalet the govt refuses to act in the public interest and the evacuation raised further questions about its motives and competance in acting in the public interest.
Please do not confuse any action taken during a bushfire crisis with inaction restoring this building. They are two separate issues and I will not speak of the other issue which is also irrelevant to this topic. Within any government department there are many arms with different roles which do not overlap. I understand your passion for this project and it is the only thread you have ever posted on. Most share your concerns and would like to see the chalet running again. Maintaining perspective and filtering out the important points keeps you on track. Don't look for tangents or distractions as you then could be considered irrelevant in the discussion. Take this advice from someone who butts heads with government agencies on a regular basis.
 
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it123

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As I said earlier in the post. I think Burbank were the last lease holders, and were wanting to inject serious money into the site, including running power to the lodge. The Govt, would not giver them a long term lease, I think it was a 5 or 7 year lease. They wanted longer, so they could recover the costs. It was not viable for them.

Sitting at the bar, or in the library with a whiskey, looking out over the valley, made you feel like you were in an Agatha Christie story.
 

wean

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Dec 18, 2014
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Just received some new photos taken by a local CFA staff member who attended a seminar at the chalet recently. Looks appealing, doesn't it? (Hope these come out).
 

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wean

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Dec 18, 2014
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Please do not confuse any action taken during a bushfire crisis with inaction restoring this building. They are two separate issues and I will not speak of the other issue which is also irrelevant to this topic. Within any government department there are many arms with different roles which do not overlap. I understand your passion for this project and it is the only thread you have ever posted on. Most share your concerns and would like to see the chalet running again. Maintaining perspective and filtering out the important points keeps you on track. Don't look for tangents or distractions as you then could be considered irrelevant in the discussion. Take this advice from someone who butts heads with government agencies on a regular basis.

Fair point Xplora. What I was trying to demonstrate that - despite the fact the key high ranking members of the government should be the most highly qualified for the positions they hold - often (read usually) make decisions that aren't in the public interest. I've also had 26 regretful years of dealing with them unfortunately. This is half the reason that the place (see new photos) is still vacant.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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Just received some new photos taken by a local CFA staff member who attended a seminar at the chalet recently. Looks appealing, doesn't it? (Hope these come out).
you left out the pictures of lovely bedrooms with modern ensuites . ohh ...

it's a beautiful building that I would love to see back to being a working hotel. but how to make it financially viable?
 
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wean

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you left out the pictures of lovely bedrooms with modern ensuites . ohh ...

it's a beautiful building that I would love to see back to being a working hotel. but how to make it financially viable?

Sorry about that - he only took a limited number but I thought they were really good. Would you like some more recent photos - I've got quite a few?
 
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Chaeron

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Was up on Buffalo yesterday- amazing volume of visitors - all day trippers - in this context a catering operation plus a visitor centre focusing on high country heritage and ecology is a winner.

Didn’t go up to the Lodge.

Dingo Dell currently closed. Cresta still has its towers and cables, but nothing else.

The fire has really hammered the South End, but fortunately many snow gums making a strong comeback.

Late rains means lots of flowers.
 

wean

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Dec 18, 2014
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Was up on Buffalo yesterday- amazing volume of visitors - all day trippers - in this context a catering operation plus a visitor centre focusing on high country heritage and ecology is a winner.

Didn’t go up to the Lodge.

Dingo Dell currently closed. Cresta still has its towers and cables, but nothing else.

The fire has really hammered the South End, but fortunately many snow gums making a strong comeback.

Late rains means lots of flowers.

Was up there late November (that long ago??) - noticed Dingo Dell AW Keown lodge road was closed and thought it a bit odd. Management change maybe? Amazing that the chairlift towers are still up at Cresta, but it would be a quite a bit of work to dismantle them; as you say 'not much left there'.

A ranger told me that the area affected by fire is starting to grow back well - snow gums are sprouting from the roots. When I was there and it started raining, the low ridge on the east side of the road hit by the fire looked like Mordor from the lord of the rings. The amount of rain in the area up until not long ago has been really helpful - gets very heavy on Buffalo.
 

Snowy Joey

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Was up there early yesterday too for our 20th wedding anniversary.
Had breakfast up beside the chalet and then did a couple of walks. Left as the hoards descended on the mountain (gee some folks have some weird and dangerous ideas about where to park).
IMG20210120091309.jpg

I have to admit I have never been there before. The chalet is beautiful. I peeked in all the windows i could but they were a bit too grubby for pics.
IMG20210120092723.jpg
All the rooms looked immaculate.
Would love to see the place up and running again.
Seems such a waste, that beautiful building is just waiting for something to happen. There is so much potential and so much to do/explore up there.

Lake Catani is stunning.
IMG20210120100657.jpg
As are the waterfalls. Nice to see some mostly untouched pristine country.
FOT57B0.JPG

Agree the bush fires had some significant impact but the regrowth is showing positive signs.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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Looks amazing! I haven't been up there for a couple of years, but with today's traveller's desire for unique, boutique, gourmet destinations, with glorious views and walks, plus snow if u are lucky.. It seems so obvious.. But when govt doesn't play.. obvious is a dirty word.
It will be very challenging to make the chalet pay for itself. It's a huge rambling place and the bedrooms were not designed with modern demans in mind.
I'd love to see it up and going again but can't see how it could be a good financial proposition
 

Luken

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It will be very challenging to make the chalet pay for itself. It's a huge rambling place and the bedrooms were not designed with modern demans in mind.
I'd love to see it up and going again but can't see how it could be a good financial proposition

Pull half of it down, leave the entertainment areas. 8? King rooms, 4 x family rooms? Be plenty?
 

wean

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Dec 18, 2014
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It will be very challenging to make the chalet pay for itself. It's a huge rambling place and the bedrooms were not designed with modern demans in mind.
I'd love to see it up and going again but can't see how it could be a good financial proposition

Re Luken's comment, it was not only paying its way with a compliment of over 70 staff members, but making a profit between the late '70's and mid '80's if not before, largely due to clever marketing and its reputation. As virtually all the exterior walls have now been insulated, all it really needs is a new heating system in most of the rooms apart from Upper and Lower South, and for most of the rooms apart from maybe B Wing to be converted to ensuite (really not that expensive IF the govt did it). Whilst it's not in any way common, I now know that solar powered Trombe walls can actually work in quite cold conditions (free solar). There is no doubt that, whilst Currawong is quite right about up market appeals, there is still a significant demand for reasonably priced accommodation on a mountain like this. In fact, the very fact that a lot of accommodation these days has gone upmarket means there is a market for 'middle level' and slightly 'down level' accommodation. Remember, the chalet isn't simply a 'ski resort' - it ran all year round.
 

Greysrigging

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Re Luken's comment, it was not only paying its way with a compliment of over 70 staff members, but making a profit between the late '70's and mid '80's if not before, largely due to clever marketing and its reputation. As virtually all the exterior walls have now been insulated, all it really needs is a new heating system in most of the rooms apart from Upper and Lower South, and for most of the rooms apart from maybe B Wing to be converted to ensuite (really not that expensive IF the govt did it). Whilst it's not in any way common, I now know that solar powered Trombe walls can actually work in quite cold conditions (free solar). There is no doubt that, whilst Currawong is quite right about up market appeals, there is still a significant demand for reasonably priced accommodation on a mountain like this. In fact, the very fact that a lot of accommodation these days has gone upmarket means there is a market for 'middle level' and slightly 'down level' accommodation. Remember, the chalet isn't simply a 'ski resort' - it ran all year round.

That's right.... appeal to the market.... I've stayed at and enjoyed myself immensely at similar styled places at Jenolan Caves, Katoomba and the Blue Mountains..... none 5 star, but plenty of old world bygone era ambience.
20151117_192337.jpg
20151117_212712.jpg
20151118_132047.jpg
 

Luken

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www.p1technology.com.au
Re Luken's comment, it was not only paying its way with a compliment of over 70 staff members, but making a profit between the late '70's and mid '80's if not before, largely due to clever marketing and its reputation. As virtually all the exterior walls have now been insulated, all it really needs is a new heating system in most of the rooms apart from Upper and Lower South, and for most of the rooms apart from maybe B Wing to be converted to ensuite (really not that expensive IF the govt did it). Whilst it's not in any way common, I now know that solar powered Trombe walls can actually work in quite cold conditions (free solar). There is no doubt that, whilst Currawong is quite right about up market appeals, there is still a significant demand for reasonably priced accommodation on a mountain like this. In fact, the very fact that a lot of accommodation these days has gone upmarket means there is a market for 'middle level' and slightly 'down level' accommodation. Remember, the chalet isn't simply a 'ski resort' - it ran all year round.
So u saying keep it large, or downsize to a more economically sensible size? I dont know how many it sleeps atm, but 70 staff seems very risky.. Get it down to a smaller size have 30 staff, seems a better bet from a business perspective.
 

Chaeron

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It more than likely has no economic hope of being brought up to current NCC (building code) compliance requirements.
Asbestos, fire compliance, wiring, insulation - set against heritage constraints- Oz doesn’t value its limited ‘historic’ buildings enough for government to make up the shortfall- especially in a ‘user pays’ economic rationalism model of budgeting.

Non-starter. Needs a billionaire donor closely linked to a political party.

Buffalo’s days as a ski destination are over - superseded in the era of economies of scale, mass marketing, snow making, combined with the Vic resort model of RMB plus lease-holder operator (unless state government runs it like at Baw-Baw & Lake Mountain - and that’s not going to fly at Buffalo - too far from the city for large enough snow play numbers....)

Pity, but there it is!
 

Billy_Buttons

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Fk...All Sydney houses/schools/shopping malls/fast food outlets/commercial offices/buildings (every building) pre 1975-1980 have asbestos! :whistle:
 
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skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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fire compliance
This is usually the killer issue.

It would need a good performance and management solution & cooperative Fire Service approving body to get it over the line. I think it’s possible but every party in the process would need to be on board to agree an acceptable alternative solution. Very very unlikely in the current NCC assessment climate.
 

Onlybackscratchers

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This is usually the killer issue.

It would need a good performance and management solution & cooperative Fire Service approving body to get it over the line. I think it’s possible but every party in the process would need to be on board to agree an acceptable alternative solution. Very very unlikely in the current NCC assessment climate.
Dad fitted a sprinker system to the chalet about 40 years ago when he worked for Wormald. No idea of it's current condition, but at least it has it.
 

2ESki

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you left out the pictures of lovely bedrooms with modern ensuites . ohh ...

it's a beautiful building that I would love to see back to being a working hotel. but how to make it financially viable?
I thought the old ensuites had a bit of old world charm, most trendites would not like them, so modernise.
 

2ESki

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Apr 16, 2017
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Just received some new photos taken by a local CFA staff member who attended a seminar at the chalet recently. Looks appealing, doesn't it? (Hope these come out).
Inside looks pretty good, how long ago were the photos taken ?
 

Chaeron

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ParksVic has now extended the cafe tender deadline for the chalet.

https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-in...interest/eoi-202004-mount-buffalo-chalet-cafe

Post- pandemic and post-fires the risk of getting into a regional tourist- based hospitality business has to be perceived differently.

Back in the day government would just have run the joint themselves it for the public benefit....

Maybe a perception of high fixed costs and variable revenue is also playing a part in the struggle to secure an appropriate lessee.... or maybe some of the tender conditions are too onerous.

Some of those who have ‘influenced’ the management plan for the current set-up are set to indirectly gain from an increase in Buffalo visitation, without any of their own skin in the game....
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Was up there early yesterday too for our 20th wedding anniversary.
Had breakfast up beside the chalet and then did a couple of walks. Left as the hoards descended on the mountain (gee some folks have some weird and dangerous ideas about where to park).
IMG20210120091309.jpg

I have to admit I have never been there before. The chalet is beautiful. I peeked in all the windows i could but they were a bit too grubby for pics.
IMG20210120092723.jpg
All the rooms looked immaculate.
Would love to see the place up and running again.
Seems such a waste, that beautiful building is just waiting for something to happen. There is so much potential and so much to do/explore up there.

Lake Catani is stunning.
IMG20210120100657.jpg
As are the waterfalls. Nice to see some mostly untouched pristine country.
FOT57B0.JPG

Agree the bush fires had some significant impact but the regrowth is showing positive signs.

You have go and XC ski at Mt. Buffalo!!!!.It is excellent. Like the Prom. of the High Country with all those big rocks but sometimes with Nordic skiable snow .

Plus Eurobin Falls in Spring are amazing when they are pumping.

Hiking in and camping at Mt. McLeod is a must do bushwalk in the Northern section of the park.
I have not been up there since the Jan. 2020 fires burnt all the snow gums heading up the Horn road, a favourite XC skiing route of mine and other forum members.
I also want to hike out to Rocky Creek in Nov. 2021 when water is easier to find and camp out there.
 
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wean

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I just received an unusual and very prominent message about a new petition set up by fiospamafam - I can't see anything here so is this genuine? Just one other thing is that I notice there are some new posts here but I'm sure I haven't received anything about them - are these still emailed out? Thanks.
 

Chaeron

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I just received an unusual and very prominent message about a new petition set up by fiospamafam - I can't see anything here so is this genuine? Just one other thing is that I notice there are some new posts here but I'm sure I haven't received anything about them - are these still emailed out? Thanks.
If you select “watch thread “AND “receive email notifications of new posts” then you’ll receive notifications of new posts.

Admins have just today warded off a whole set of spammers and fake PMs...

@Richard @Ian D
 

wean

Hard Yards
Dec 18, 2014
55
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Asbestos, fire compliance, wiring, insulation - set against heritage constraints- Oz doesn’t value its limited ‘historic’ buildings enough for government to make up the shortfall- especially in a ‘user pays’ economic rationalism model of budgeting.

Non-starter. Needs a billionaire donor closely linked to a political party.

Buffalo’s days as a ski destination are over - superseded in the era of economies of scale, mass marketing, snow making, combined with the Vic resort model of RMB plus lease-holder operator (unless state government runs it like at Baw-Baw & Lake Mountain - and that’s not going to fly at Buffalo - too far from the city for large enough snow play numbers....)

Pity, but there it is!

I disagree.Whilst the snow cover these days has been very hit and miss, Buffalo is one of the best places in the country to do cross country skiing - I've done it. It's unique in having these small isolated snow plains and small rock peaks separating them. Most resorts make their own snow these days to a significant extent and it's really a matter of spreading it around the trails - they have done this in the past if I'm correct. You only really need 10cm of snow to do it as this is usually enough to cover the grass.
 

Chaeron

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Jun 24, 2014
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I disagree.Whilst the snow cover these days has been very hit and miss, Buffalo is one of the best places in the country to do cross country skiing - I've done it. It's unique in having these small isolated snow plains and small rock peaks separating them. Most resorts make their own snow these days to a significant extent and it's really a matter of spreading it around the trails - they have done this in the past if I'm correct. You only really need 10cm of snow to do it as this is usually enough to cover the grass.
I agree Buffalo will remain a XC destination, but I don’t see a commercial operation beyond maybe Dingo Dell anytime soon.
 

wean

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Dec 18, 2014
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Just pull down Siberia, which had shared bathrooms, modernise the other ensuite rooms, new beds, lick of paint and she's up and running :thumbs:

I wouldn't do that if I was you for two reasons. Firstly B wing forms a significant part of the original design of the way the place is built into the side of the mountain. I've thought about the access to this wing a lot; whilst costly, a lift could be built next to the stairs on the outside to allow disabled access or general access to that floor. These rooms could be used as lower cost accommodation with new shared facilities installed. Secondly, the wing has a long history of paranormal activity - I've seen it myself. If anyone wants to hear some of the stories, just let me know.
 

wean

Hard Yards
Dec 18, 2014
55
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68
Dad fitted a sprinker system to the chalet about 40 years ago when he worked for Wormald. No idea of it's current condition, but at least it has it.

I must have met him - that's when I was working there. My guess is that it should be in good working order as as far as I know, they used iron piping which usually lasts for years and years. Also, despite a certain high ranking staffer at Parks Victoria telling someone he 'hoped it would fall down', I suspect it's been maintained. The only place likely to leak is the main tank, but when I was there a sprinkler head burst one night during a snowstorm due to freezing and set the alarm off. The alarm system should still be active.
 

wean

Hard Yards
Dec 18, 2014
55
30
68
ParksVic has now extended the cafe tender deadline for the chalet.

https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-in...interest/eoi-202004-mount-buffalo-chalet-cafe

Post- pandemic and post-fires the risk of getting into a regional tourist- based hospitality business has to be perceived differently.

Back in the day government would just have run the joint themselves it for the public benefit....

Maybe a perception of high fixed costs and variable revenue is also playing a part in the struggle to secure an appropriate lessee.... or maybe some of the tender conditions are too onerous.

Some of those who have ‘influenced’ the management plan for the current set-up are set to indirectly gain from an increase in Buffalo visitation, without any of their own skin in the game....

You said
"Back in the day government would just have run the joint themselves it for the public benefit...."
Classic statement and that's exactly what happened.
 
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wean

Hard Yards
Dec 18, 2014
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If you select “watch thread “AND “receive email notifications of new posts” then you’ll receive notifications of new posts.

Admins have just today warded off a whole set of spammers and fake PMs...

@Richard @Ian D

Sorry Richard - the thanks below was for you...can't work out how the spam works as the email referred me back to this site?
 

Xplora

One of Us
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Jun 7, 2015
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Secondly, the wing has a long history of paranormal activity - I've seen it myself. If anyone wants to hear some of the stories, just let me know.
Another tourist attraction. I stayed down there. Never heard or saw anything unusual apart from a bit of moaning and groaning. Just thought that was the other residents.
 
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