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Discussion in 'Mt Buller' started by djam, Mar 24, 2020.
The 200 limit is just till June 22 at this stage, with close to nothing open here.
Just had an email confirming all Snow Squads are officially running at Buller. Lots of changes to the structure etc but hats off to Buller and ski school for facilitating this - an amazing effort to get it up and running. I appreciate it's a lot of cash for them but there are a million hoops to jump through so fair play to them for getting this sorted.
2020 COVID-19 | Alpine Resorts COVID Planning Update
Dear MBRA Members & Stakeholders,
Please be advised of the following update from ARIAG regarding SHARED Accommodation and Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Alpine Resorts COVID Planning Update
To Industry Members,
The following update is provided for all stakeholders in the Victorian Alpine Resorts to assist them in planning and preparing for the opening of lifting operations across the resorts from the 22nd of June.
The Industry associations including the ASAA, the Chambers of Commerce, Ratepayers Groups, SIA, Snow Australia and others have all been working hard with the ARMB’s and various governments, at a federal, state and local level, in agreeing to the guidelines with which the resorts are able to operate in a COVID environment.
The industry is greatly appreciative of the support and engagement the State Government, DELWP, DHHS and DJPR have provided in working to a common goal of getting the resorts open and providing the much needed economic engine for the regions during winter.
Given the 22nd June is fast approaching ARIAG wanted to provide an update as best we can of the situation as it stands:
What information is currently available for Alpine Resort Business and Organisations?
On the 1st of June the State Government eased restrictions placed on the Tourism and Hospitality Industries as a result of responding to COVID-19.
In assisting with the reopening of these sectors the government produced the following guidelines:
These include both mandatory directions and guidance, of how businesses should re-open and then operate in the current COVID-19 environment.
These guidelines apply to both Hospitality and Tourism businesses and associations operating in the Alpine Resorts. They provide a clear framework that businesses and associations will be expected to meet, and we recommend all businesses and associations familiarise themselves with them.
Restrictions to current Legislation:
In addition to the above the following amendments (Restricted Activity Directions No.9) apply to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
Is there any information available specifically for the Alpine Resorts?
Not as yet, but it is planned and should be published soon.
Following the Resorts engaging with DELWP on a number of issues, the State Government recognised that a clear set of Alpine Resort Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) similar to the above industry guidelines were needed to assist the Resorts in planning and preparing for the 2020 winter.
To ensure timely and efficient planning and management throughout the season, DELWP led the formation of a COVID Alpine Working Group which is made up of representatives of a number of government departments and agencies including DELWP, DJPR, DHHS, ARMB’s, ARIAG, ASAA, Local councils and Emergency Services.
The first task was to assist government in the preparations of the Alpine Resort Guidelines, this work has been undertaken and is now being finalised and should be published very soon.
While a date has not been set the working group is acutely aware these need to be published as a matter of urgency.
What areas will be covered in the guidelines?
Where guidelines or directions have already been published for specific industries ie, Hospitality (Restaurants, cafes etc) the Alpine Resort Guidelines are not intending to replicate any of this work but will provide links to access the relevant information.
The following list is provided as an indication of the major operational areas that have been reviewed to consider whether any specific guidelines are required:
Ski School Operations
Snow Play Activities
The list doesn’t cover all areas and is not intended to reflect what is in the guidelines only what has been considered.
What information is available regarding Staff Accommodation?
Staff accommodation guidelines are being finalised and will be published shortly.
As everyone in the industry is aware staff accommodation facilities are primarily governed by the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and particularly the prescribed accommodation provisions in the act, which determines bedroom density.
We encourage all businesses and associations that provide accommodation to once again familiarise themselves with the act and review the current rules against the Density Quotient (1 person every 4 sqm) currently being applied to all shared space.
This year it is critical that staff accommodation is managed in accordance with all relevant guidance to ensure that the possibility of an infection is completely minimised.
What information is available for Club Lodges (shared Accommodation)?
The government and Industry have recognised that one of the areas of greatest concern is the operation of Club Lodges with shared facilities.
Some weeks ago ARIAG formed its own working group to prepare supporting materials for all accommodation providers to assist them in preparing COVID Safe Plans for their facilities.
This work has now formed the basis of the Alpine Resort Guidelines identified above.
As these guidelines have not yet been published, the following directions are in place and apply to Club Lodges.
These are taken directly from the Tourism Industry Guidelines for coronavirus COVID-19 and reflect the amendments (Restricted Activity Directions No.9) that apply to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
Section 3.1.1 Accommodation
From 11:59pm on 31 May, accommodation for tourism purposes (e.g. camping grounds, caravan parks, hotels, hostels or private holiday rentals) will be allowed to operate according to the following rules if:
• there is no use of shared facilities (such as kitchens and bathrooms) – i.e. there are private facilities (e.g. self-contained cabins) or there are no facilities (e.g. back country camping)
• no more than 20 guests are permitted in the accommodation facility per group booking; and
• record-keeping and cleaning requirements are met.
What do these rules mean?
Lodges are allowed to accept single group bookings of up to 20 people. These groups are can occupy the lodge and use the shared facilities without restrictions.
However, we have been provided further guidance, that only people living together normally ie families and flatmates should share a bedroom together.
Lodges are NOT allowed to operate with multiple groups or bookings sharing the facilities ie kitchens, bathrooms etc.
What is anticipated in the future?
In anticipation of the current (20 person) restrictions easing at some time in the future, each Club Lodge should develop a COVID Safe Operating Plan which details how the lodge will operate and manage the implementation of COVID safe directions.
These plans will need to firstly consider the capacity of a Club Lodge.
As a starting point, we suggest that Club Lodges may want to consider applying the Density Quotient (1 person every 4 sqm) to the various areas of a building, including bedrooms and shared living areas.
A reasonable approach may look to limit capacity to the either of the bedrooms or the living spaces whichever is the lessor.
Having established a reasonable basis for Club Lodge Capacity the plan should then consider how they will address the following:
Toilet and shower facilities
Kitchen and dining areas
Other communal areas
Hygiene procedures and facilities
Catering facilities and mealtime processes
Control of entry and exit to the site
Education and training for staff (for COVID-19)
Drying room and equipment processes
Where can I go to get information to assist in preparing a Plan?
The following links are provided to assist in preparation of plans for Club Lodges. These do not cover all the information available, but provide a good starting point.
Venue Setup - Taken from Tourism and Hospitality Industries where some elements apply to Club Lodges
Draft Risk Register
Cleaning & Disinfecting
In conclusion, with the season rapidly approaching we understand industry stakeholders are eagerly waiting for these guidelines to be published and we are working to achieve this as soon as possible.
The information government is providing to businesses and associations in supporting the re-opening of the economy is being constantly updated and improved. We encourage everyone not to wait until the guidelines are received, but to review their facilities based on the information provided in this update and more generally.
Considering we only got the green light for the season to commence just over two weeks ago, we have come a very long way in a short period of time, with a great deal of work from a lot of people.
To everyone involved thank you for all your efforts so far, and all the best for a safe and successful start to the season.
Mt Buller Ratepayers Association
The Federal and Victorian government will be assessing what restrictions may be lifted or amended for sport and recreational activities. It has been made clear by government that these and future decisions will be significantly influenced by the number of Australians that download the COVIDsafe App. To maximise our chances of the resorts fully opening this season we encourage all Australians to download the COVIDsafe App.
More information on the COVIDsafe App
Secretary, Mt Buller Ratepayers Association
45a Sargood Street
Hampton, VIC 3188
So currently, 5 separate family groups of 4 could book a lodge exclusively as a 'single booking', with no restrictions whatsoever, as long as the individual family units have their own room.
Does the next tier of 'easing' also signal the ability to take 'multiple' bookings once again, and effectively run a 'normal' operation as long as distancing/hygiene regs are followed?
Long time reader, first time poster...
That's our read too Mx. Question is also around any differentiation of rules for Members vs Guests. If members are equity owners, can they stay in the same way that they could at a holiday house and the kitchen isn't deemed communal... If I had a holiday house that I shared ownership with others, our read is we could all stay there (up to 20).
imm not so sure that this is a good issue to be pushing the legal boundaries on. if someone gets seriously ill in a lodge, or its the start of a cluster, I think committees/boards would want to be able to show that they were clearly following recommended practices, not trying to prove that they had scraped into the letter of the law
Don't disagree. Trouble is the recommended practice isn't available.. and in the words of others being formed at "glacial pace".
One would think that conservative heads will prevail this season.
However, per earlier comment, it seems there's nothing wrong with multiple families pooling to make one booking, and hence potentially filling a smaller lodge, as long as each family has their own room.
needs lodges to be ready to accept such bookings. some probably will
My read is there aren't many who are ready, but many who have members wondering if they can book for the school holidays / squad. That is without considering external guests with active bookings. Going to be interesting times ahead!
At least we don't have to worry about a toilet paper struggle anymore!! On readiness, multiple lodges were rushing in firewood last weekend: haven't seen that before.
vic lodges don't really know where the goal posts are yet. some are guessing and trying to open on that basis.
Yep... it is making it very hard to work out if to open, if to hire lodge managers/cleaners, if to order supplies, if to arrange laundry, etc. Expenses that we can't afford to guess wrong on.
The most confusing part: "will your lodge be closed and will you allow staff to stay there?" questions....
as far as i know, we haven't been asked to house staff.
Have just been looking at the Thredbo thread... Eight pages of complete shemozzle just from today's opening of ticket sales!! There were 29,000 users (that's not a typo) in the online queue at one point!!! Multiple crashes with people losing their spots...
Grateful for the way Buller have handled our season passes!
Yep, totally agree.
Got the email today re Blue / Orange pass renewal with the advice that there will be no restrictions, no reservations required.
Have also confirmed that jnr miss LTB can buy a SP with her DWA membership at any time during the season
well played Buller.
Let’s wait and see, honouring all season passes may result in horrendous lines on all lifts. I’m in 2 minds still as to weather get a credit/refund.
I’m personally hoping they do a Perisher (and Hotham) and open the lifts a little bit earlier this year.
Timing will be critical during these school holidays.
Believe ticket sales have been pushed back a few days.. presumably to avoid a “Thredbo”...
Inter schools to continue I hear...
Lots of news on the mountain today.
There will be two interschools events. Buller at end of August and Perisher begininning of September.
Buller kids waxing their skis...
I’m hoping the measures they’ve taken to limit day tripper / non-season passholder numbers will mitigate the lift line issue, even with the reduced lift offering!
And IIRC, they’ll only decide on credits/refunds of season passes after assessing the impacts of COVID sometime in September?
Yeah you won't be getting a refund easily
Key point in the above message is the priority for those with accommodation. Initially, the message was along the lines of "booked via mt buller website" but it is absolutely your accommodation provider (lodge, etc) who should be providing you with the unique code.
But.... Anyone for Tennis?
Looks like tickets for next weekend sold out pretty quickly?
Saturday capacity has been reached. Might be able to do more if we get more snow / can open more lifts. I think some people are forgetting you can't ski full stop if there's no snow and there ain't much at the moment!
Just to confirm - this is day pass capacity?
Do SP holders need to register or the like?
My understanding is it is just rock up. I hope that isn't wrong!
We have the interesting scenario where we have 4 season passes and the other child is 6, so would normally be going to ski school. No ski school this year and lets be frank, an interesting way to buy tickets for each trip in season 2020... We have purchased a full priced season pass for them to ensure that they can get on the snow and not have to try our luck every week or so!
(Ski school offers no discount for 3-6year olds who have a seasons pass, hence every other year we haven't purchased one. This year we get the joy of really paying out some solid $$$$)
I assume that capacity accounts for just Bourke St.
It's not day pass (car) capacity it's the lift capacity for that particular day (Sat). i.e. many multi-day tix overlap on Sat meaning the capacity is now maxed.
Season Members don't need to register at this stage. They should be able to turn up and ski. Although looking at the forecast I'd be tempted to wait til July
So when do buses actually start running from the day car park to the village? Presumably Wednesday if that's when the first lift is theoretically due to turn, snow permitting?
Hi Dave, if just Bourke St Chair is running what is the actual capacity for that lift and area?
Not as much as everyone wants!
But what is it Dave ? You seem to know the actual number.
And just between you and I, not sure he is telling....
My guess a few hundred max. The chair can take max 3 and they won't be running it at warp speed. They also won't be wanting 100 at the bottom waiting.
A greater question is.. Dave, any idea what the record amount of runs on Bourke st is on a given day? 30?
That's a better question! I'd have to sit down for some romantic time with our database which I don't have right now but remind me when we get through this season
Good one Dave. Got to love a good DB / table and decent pivot table / query - take all(?) / some guessing. Out of the equation.
I'd think those figures would be maybe a bit higher than that but wondering why dave would not want to state what they actually are? Because sure as, they would have to know. Maybe, because if that's what's open then they might have to tell season pass holders they will actually have to be restricted? Can of worms.....
Now the question is, why do you not want to answer the question?
Dave currently in his private library surrounded by stacks of documents, pencil in one ear screaming
“You want the truth, u can’t handle the truth”
it's about 50 Olympic swimming pools
Dave has no obligation to share private data lmao.
I'm grateful that we have a resort rep willing to interact with the community, unlike other resorts.
Buller has taken care of SM/SP holders which is the tick in my books.
proof of the pudding will be in the actual experience
Here here, While Buller cops a lot of flak from a weather & snow perspective, I think all due credit should given to the resort and lift company for investing in their product (summer & winter) attracting govt grants for the dam et al (no mean feat these days!) and for Dave fronting up and communicating on this forum.
I think the other 4 big resorts and even the 3 mainland smalls, could copy the same page and maintain (gain greater!) respect from customers.
If you mean forcing people to keep their season pass sure..
An option for refund would have been the better scenario. Exactly what Vail resorts have done
the word option is the key.
Hi @Dave Clark (and anyone else in the know), I saw on Buller's latest news that from today, visitors will be getting an SMS with a QR code to streamline the arrivals process. Should season members be expecting an SMS as well, or will there be a slightly different system with our tags?
Glad to see some sliding happening today considering the whole shemozzle that 2020 has been!
Dave is a looooong time forum member, late 90's spec under a different name, so he 'gets' how this place operates where plenty don't / can't.
The SMS / QR system is for all arrivals. You text "Buller" to the number, it sends you a link to a form, fill in the form with details of everyone in the vehicle, and then you don't have to stop at the gate for ages while they collect all your details, they just have to scan your QR code. That way we know exactly who is in the resort, contact tracing, etc etc.