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Mt Hotham snowmaking

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Rover, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    Heard from a reliable source that Mt Hotahm will not be extending its snowmaking cover this summer.
    From what I earlier understood they were going to do Imagine, Snake and Milky Way this year..but it has been put on the back-burner.

    What a good way to instill confidence into the public !!!

    But then again...Mt Hotham is really a real estate developer masquarading as a ski company isn't it?
     
  2. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    How do you mean snowmaking cover this summer?

    Extending it?

    Please clarify.
     
  3. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Using the Summer period to extend pipes, power cables, install new snow making guns etc [​IMG]

    Rover: After this season, I would think they should have more plans to extend snowmaking, not less!

    Hope your not right [​IMG]
     
    #3 skiflat, Nov 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  4. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    But then again next season will be the best ever, so we won't need any snowmaking! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #4 skiflat, Nov 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  5. chuck

    chuck Hard Yards

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    heard the same thing ..... guess that budgets are down after the mighty season of '06 !!!
     
  6. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Shame [​IMG]
     
    #6 skiflat, Nov 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  7. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think you maybe missing a point here guys.

    After comming out of one of the worst seasons in over a decade, I'd imagine annual budgets to be extremely restricted and the company maybe required to restructure it's expeditures to be utilised elsewhere,

    ie.
    * marketing (To capture/recapture it's clientel).
    * Infastructure Maintanence.

    Snowmaking wont solve every equation to a ski area. But yes I agree it is integral, and yes I'd be worried if they were annually cutting back on such a resource.
     
  8. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    ...........they should be propping up peoples confidence with extended snowmaking

    ...........they should be propping up peoples confidence with extended snowmaking
     
    #8 Hunter, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  9. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    I'd heard that the top of Summit was also part of the plan. Maybe they will just do this bit to allow Summit to stay open and Road Runner as well.
    Would seriously increase the skiable area in a bad year like this one.
    Just have to wait and see I guess.
     
  10. Cuppa

    Cuppa A Local

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    I would have thought that snowmaking on Heavenly would be a good marketing tool for them.
     
  11. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    It would be, but it will only entice the better skiers, who traditionally spend less money in the resort ie, they have their own gear, know how to cut costs (own lunch etc), where as snowmaking on Summit will entice beginners who generally spend more ie need gear, have lessons, buy food.

    Therefore, as I see it, enticing the beginners to mountains is where their marketing will probably go.

    Just my 2c
     
    #11 Ben Lomond Brad, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  12. Ben Lomond Brad

    Ben Lomond Brad Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    especially at Hotham [​IMG]
     
    #12 Ben Lomond Brad, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  13. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    From what i understand...NO new snow making infrastructure will be put in this year.
    The only work to be done is the pipe from the poo farm to the loch dam - which I understand to already been started.

    I disagree re the HV comment re the level os skiers etc.
    HV attracts a wide range of skiers and also spreads the load of skiers across a larger area.
    the runs that were earmarked for snow making are mainly light blue.

    I think the "poor season" is just an excuse not to spend the money....So what they had a poor season, but they don/t spend heaps when they have a good season...this money is just poured into real estate development....

    think about this: less lifts open this year= less lifties, less groomers, less support staff etc = less operating costs.
    From all reports the occupancy rate was quite good considering the lack of snow.

    I think the real test is next season when the pre bookings/season pass sales will be down.

    This is why money should be spent on snow making---as it will encourage people to book at Hotham and not Falls Creek.
     
  14. sir_rhyso

    sir_rhyso One of Us

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    If their budgets are going to marketing, they need to have a strategy to know what their product is (skiing, or real estate), and how to deliver it in the right place at the right time for the right price [​IMG]
    They must never forget that without understanding what customers really want, they will not succeed.
    So, are their target customers skiiers or land purchasers?

    I guess if extending snowmaking results in making the price prohibitive for your average skiier then snowmaking is out.

    Alternatively, if there is no snow, there are no customers. How poorly would this affect their real estate operations?
     
    #14 sir_rhyso, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  15. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Rover: Have to agree, this year will be the test after a Excellent season, good season and crap season, not many people will be happy to fork out $$ early and prebook accomodation.
     
  16. Rednut

    Rednut First Runs

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    raises the question are they prioritising their spending appropriately?
     
  17. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    It also raises the questions on how they budget....surely they must budget for a less than favorable season.

    And I have heard that quite a number of businesses did OK this year.
     
  18. Andy D

    Andy D First Runs

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    Deleted by Admin - personal abuse
     
  19. Cuppa

    Cuppa A Local

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    Hotham and Falls are owned by the same entity. So it won't worry them if you go to Falls.
     
    #19 Cuppa, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  20. Ulmerhutte

    Ulmerhutte First Runs

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    I wonder if anybody has the facts? Anecdotally, the bookings were as good as last year, if not better, so takings from overnight visitors should not be far down.

    Hotham opened and groomed probably less than 1/2 of its available slopes, so fewer towies, fewer groomers, less maintenance on Kassi's and lift, etc, so operating costs should have been down.

    Arguably, with the crappy snow, people may have spent more in bars and restuarants, but that is a pure guess.

    Possibly fewer lessons, but I assume that the number of instructors would also be down.

    So, where did they take a bath? [​IMG]
     
    #20 Ulmerhutte, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  21. Hotham Swampus

    Hotham Swampus Hard Yards

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    Kids Ski school-wise, we were pretty much as busy as last year, maybe even more so.
     
  22. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I hope it snows buckets next year.
     
  23. Hopey1

    Hopey1 One of Us

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    lift loading wise- it sucked. HV had minimal loading the whole time that it was open as it was ungroomed and in poor condition. a freind of mine who, while not being great can hold his own on the skis, normaly loves imagine more than any other run. this year he did it once, hated it and didnt come back. if the snowmaking was extended to get HV groomed even in a poor season, i think it would benifit far more than extra marketing etc
     
  24. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just the fact that you COULD get down Heavenly with such lousy cover, indicates that snowmaking there would make it fully skiable even when it was as bad as 2006.

    This shows me that snow making around HV would be PRICELESS for getting people to Hotham in bad seasons, and in the marginal times at each end of the season......
     
  25. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    While accomodation might have been the same as last year, ticket sales would have been the key.

    Many people would have got there and instead of buying a week ticket, maybe brought a day ticket if that
     
  26. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    Hey...it comes back to one thing....
    if they spend money..they will make money.....

    The best marketing they can do....
    "yes 2006 was bad, but to ensure that doesn't happen again, we have doubled the coverage of our state of the art snowmaking to include the summit and Hevanly valley"

    Surely its cheaper to put in the snowmaking than to keep pushing Bale like they have.
    I have now recived no less than 6 really posh adverts in the mail pushing the "new Hotham"..then there is the billboard thats been but up.....


    But then again, what do I know?
     
  27. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    then there is those who bought a season pass for both the car and the lifts and maybe skied for 2 hours accross the whole season.
     
    #27 Rover, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  28. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Of course it is.

    They have been well warned about the need to hedge against increasing poor seasons with snowmaking, to choose not to regardless of one seasons income being down is stupid, especially given all the pumped up crap about Bale etc.

    So you reckon Wombat the people who are going to sink huge money into Bale are the types to put up with the resort choosing not to insure their skiing experience with increased snowmaking ? get real, they will crucify the resort if they choose to sit on their hands, and previous seasons profits... as they should :rolleyes:
     
    #28 Hunter, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  29. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Car pass shouldn't be brought early just to save $20 or whatever it was. Foolish to do that

    Season pass is a risk, but Buller have offered to carry across the pass to next season for me.

    Even though nothing came in the mail as promoised I have an email from them!
     
    #29 skiflat, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  30. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Just decided to look at Hotham.com.au

    "That's right, if you book your ski holiday for winter 2007 and pay a 50% deposit prior to the 16th February 2007, you will be entitled to a 5% discount off your accommodation. Get in quick as it is not valid for all properties.


    This exclusive offer is only available when making bookings direct with the friendly team at Hotham Holidays!"

    Sure !
     
  31. hair-raiser

    hair-raiser Hard Yards

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the MFS mob are looking round for someone to take the lifts off their hands. They really don't need them to make a killing on sales of apartments to the uninformed chattering classes.
     
  32. Graeme

    Graeme First Runs Endless Winter

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    I don't think the uninformed chattering classes are about to be buying units at Hotham.
     
  33. Ben Ferg

    Ben Ferg First Runs

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    The comment about less grooming is a bit off the mark. In a poor hear the groomers take a pounding maintenance wise as they spend a lot of the night walking over rock & soil rather than snow. While they aren't doing hours of actual grooming they will be out there each night trying to make honey out of dogcrap, trying to keep what little snow there is in the middle of the runs. The maintenance costs on the lifts should be a bit less but the snowmaking plant ran for a lot longer than normal (from what I understand anyway) so pumps, moters etc will have done mofre like 1 & a half seasons in only one season.
     
  34. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    In Hotham's defense, snowmaking systems are ridiculously expensive. Their cost needs to be offset over several years and planned for well in advance.

    Installations cannot be implemented as knee-jerk reactions.

    I suspect this situation is extraordinary and Hotham will return to their overall plan as soon as they can afford to do so.

    We can only hope they aren't hit with another season like this year.

    My favourite resort has managed to sustain their continued investment, despite the poor season and for that I am grateful.

    I feel soory for the Hotham crew to find themselves in this unfortunate situation and I don't think we should be flogging them having to make some hard decisions.
     
  35. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    To be honest crackson....what a load.

    Hotham has like all the other resorts had years to implement a decent snowmaking system, they sat on their hands and have been caught out and will pay the price I believe.

    Season just gone best snowmaking :

    PB - excellent as always
    Thredbo - big improvement, really impressive.
    Falls - very good as always, needs coverage in the bowl.
    Buller - saved the mountain, always went hard but needs to expand now.
    Hotham - Way, way behind the competetion needs to play catch up fast, lack of coverage could really hurt the mountain, choosing to do nothing this off season is foolish and a very bad image.
     
  36. its..your..bro

    its..your..bro One of Us

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    ^^^^Hothams equivalent of ASB
     
  37. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    IYB. Not true. Wombat knows what he talks about.
     
  38. its..your..bro

    its..your..bro One of Us

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    thats a nicer way of putting it just thought your attack of hunter was a bit harsh-although not uncommon on here, do apologise for pairing you with ASB- harsh on my account :cheers:
     
  39. Ulmerhutte

    Ulmerhutte First Runs

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    There still seems to a lot of argument by assertion here, but precious few facts. I tried to read the MFS annual report but could not work out what they made/lost on their ski field operations. It is on the net for anybody else to have a try.

    Then you have the question of "does it really matter to MFS?". To all intents and purpose, they appear to be an investment vehicle, specialising in real estate & property development. In that context, their ski field operation is just an enabler for their main game, ie property-related business. Any P&L attributable to the lift operation is probably not that significant in the scheme of things. Happy however to stand corrected.

    Saying that Hotham did not have water for extensive snow-making until this year is correct. What is does not answer is why it took them so long.

    Finally, major infrastructure development is almost never funded out of opex - it is funded (or should be) from long-term money. One bad year is therefore almost moot in that context. Sure you need to be able to service the resultant debt, but what is more important is the projected NPV based on the life of the asset. The life of the asset need not be the useful life - it could be based on when MFS plan to sell Hotham & Falls. Those are things that only senior MFS officers will know and you can bet they will not post those details here..
     
  40. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for your support bro :thumbs:

    Whilst I agree Wombat is not blind to Hothams shortfalls but he tends to bully when he gets defensive, always has.

    Back to the discussion.

    You know as well as anyone here Wombat we have been talking about Hothams pond for about 4 years so we are all aware of the need to increase their storage.

    Do you think Buller just went out one night and started to dig their dam ? Buller went out and addressed their water storage problem about a decade ago, and yes they had to contend with funds, getting funding, permits, objections and all the rest just like Hotham.

    In the past I think Hotham was content to ride on the back of its larger and more reliable natural snowfall, that choice has I believe now left them years behind the rest when it comes to snowmaking and the insurance it offers its clientel.
    If as reported they are not to roll out any meaningful snowmaking extension this summer then further behind they will remain.
    Poor season or not resorts just cannot compete without growing snowmaking systems.
     
  41. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bingo.

    And yes we know it included the more complex treatment systems and getting outside/joint funding.
    It is about when they began the process.
     
    #41 Hunter, Nov 9, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  42. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    As the saying goes, "One man's arrogance(chosen ignorance, is another man's wealth".

    The only real asset to any mountain, is reliable snow. No point having real estate if the occupancy is redundant. For the first time in 6 years, I've only spent 2 days on snow at Hotham, as compared to an average of 20, Hotham alone. I didn't even buy not ONE lift ticket at Hotham this year, made not one financial accomodation booking nor hired any demo/any gear. Hotham didn't even get much of my drink/alchamahol money either. From 20 or so people I know aside from forums, they all pretty much experienced an 80% savings on what money they put aside for 2006, to spend up at Hotham.

    Hotham got screwed hardcore this year.
     
  43. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    And Hothams lack of preparedness (sp.) presented opportunities for its competetion.

    There remains plenty of opportunities for the smart resorts to capture the vast majority of green/blue skiers that remain in Australia they do not need any of their black terrain open to do this.
     
    #43 Hunter, Nov 9, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  44. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    I feel for the locals who live there or in residing townships, most of which work there and have bro's/sis on other mountains. It's hard to see one bro have a crud year whilst the other has maintained some self esteem on another hill...
    All due to bulldust, conyac-ciggar puffin, developer, a55-licking mates of owners, twat pots illegitemately hijacking what is plain n fricken obvious to the supposed "lower class mountains"...
    Hope they've learned from this...
     
  45. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Everyone's an expert.
     
  46. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    What on earth [​IMG]
     
    #46 Hunter, Nov 9, 2006
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  47. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    #47 Hunter, Nov 9, 2006
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  48. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    Still no excuse.
     
  49. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    Sorry Hunter, just let off some steam.
    [​IMG]
     
    #49 Fangin'Wolvy, Nov 9, 2006
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  50. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    From what I understand Falls Creek is doing quite a bit of summer work on snowmaking.