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Resort Sale

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by hair-raiser, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Get back to me when they have announced an investment in new lift/s................
     
  2. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Curra has it right here.

    A few years back a number of lodge owners looked to join and buy the Lift Co. Never happended.

    Merlin will off-load FC ASAP. They simply got it as part of the over-all deal. It's the other assets they wanted.

    It's been discussed ad infinitum in these fora (forums?) but with the disparate business demands and interests, the ever shortening trading period and no summer activity, FC and Hotham cannot compete for the disposable dollar. Cheaper to ski and/or greater actual or perceived value in NorthA,m, EU, Japan. Aussie hills are, collectively, not interested in a sustainable industry - which requires no government boards, full year trading, innovative operations and an eye on a reasonable sustained profit rather than gouging ever more out of less and less. Opportunistic resort entry fees (no issue having them, just charge a reasonable rate and ); gouging accommodation rates, lift fees the highest in the world on almost every scale; ratsh*t service levels and iffy snow do not a happy combination make.
     
  3. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Hotham don't really try in summer any more so not really worth a comment, except to say its all left to Dinner Plain.
    Falls have tried over the years - most accom/ flood providers seem. Reluctant to open - even Xmas- NY. Well be there then this year so can re-evaluate. Lift co only open lifts for -about 5 days so no real momentum gets going.
    Falls, needs a public pool like Thredbo - that would lure many of the 15k campers in the valleys for a day or two.
    Nothing attracts families in summer s much as a decent swimming hole. But that would take big dollars - well beyond what I've seen so far/0
     
  4. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    BillyKidd - wouldn't surprise me.

    I had a customer which was a massive multinational - probably the 2nd or 3rd in the world in their field. They made a large acquisition which included 2 'Jewel in the Crown' brands plus a lot of other stuff. They persisted with them all for a couple of years but then divested the 'add-on' stuff - it wasn't really their core business and not enough return for the effort.
     
  5. ODNT

    ODNT Part of the Furniture

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    first thing I thought was, fark, what are they thinking. Surely they have read a thread or two about how expensive it is to ski here and auzzies know prefer to ski O/S. I'd need to see there due diligence report to show me they can turn it around long term.
     
  6. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    What summer trade outside Thredbo still a flop ? who would have thought ? [​IMG]
    And here we have had plenty here over the years tell me/us different, you know they are building it up, growing each year, will become an important part of revenue, etc, etc They can become little Thredbo's

    No real attractions to get people interested, summer trade just a distraction in real terms of year round incomes, as I have said for a decade here, resorts should just turn the lights out at the end of the season.
     
    #56 Hunter, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  7. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Well I'm one of those who both promote Australian ski resorts in summer AND demonstrate my belief by running at least one decent sized package walking tour based at a ski resort each year.

    In the past I've posted many times about what can be done to help ski resorts be more attractive in summer. (If Merlin are reading this I'll send them a couple of pages on the subject if they ask). While it's trendy amongst a certain group who post in this forum to slag off Australian ski resorts at any time of year (Old Dog sums up that mindset nicely), some lodges and cafes make some nice extra income in summer. Hundreds of beach resorts don't have many "attractions" in summer,but because the pleasures of time at the seaside are well known, they don't need "attractions".
     
  8. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Beach resorts are an attraction in themselves, sun / surf . Empty ski resorts are not they need to artificially create attractions to lure "enough' people to make it pay. If the likes of Falls had no restrictions then it could be a cracker place on the lake shore. but you would still have to "build" attractions.
     
    #58 Hunter, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  9. Velkytatra

    Velkytatra First Runs

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Why drive 3 or 5 hours to Buller or FC/Hotham when I can be just as bored at home, and no stinging blow flies! Fark they're so big they eat Qantas A380s for brunch [​IMG]
     
    #59 Velkytatra, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  10. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    [​IMG]
     
    #60 Hunter, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  11. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Really? Then perhaps it would be safer to fly with Emirates? [​IMG]
     
    #61 Bogong, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  12. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    CM - let's see how long it takes for them to off-load. Of course they may see the potential for all year trading and decide to fire things up - although getting all the "stakeholders" together will be like herding cats. The lethargy of many lodge operators, recalcitrant greenies, a useless state government, and a parks service with their heads up their ar*ses....

    Bogong, thanks for the pics on the old tramway - really good stuff. Also, you are one of the few operators (with the hiking/walking tours) that actually gets going in summer. More power to you, and you are right, a few make an income over summer, but in terms of FC and Hotham being truly sustainable from a business perspective, it will take a greater level of activity. The lack of summer business seems to me to stem from the historically good times of winter-only trading through the 1960-1990 period, where you essentially had a trapped market with limited options and you could gouge. Availability of competitive off-shore ski destinations threw that model out the window but operators and hills did not respond.

    I'm not suggesting you need, or even want, development on the hills (perish the thought). But there are certrainly enough activities such as motorcycle touring, walking/hiking, climbing, camping, horse trekking, hang-gliding, fishing, simple R&R breaks, general touring etc to make a go of it - if there was a crtical mass of service providers working to support that. NE Victoria generally could push itself along on that (but the high number of low-viability operators does not result in competitive packages as you would expect - instead we see desperate attempts to push high prices in a forlorn attempt to combat decreasing occupancy. Ditto @ FC and Hotham). That's not a sustainable model.

    And the swimming pool suggestion - yep, done well as they have at a number of locations in NZ and you could have a ripper (Tekapo is an example).
     
  13. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Not main stream enough, those activities have always been available but never resulted in any serious growth. Like Buller tried a number of years ago with the summer luge you need a real attraction to get enough people to choose to head up to a resort instead of the beach. It aint going to happen as the last 10 years + shows
     
    #63 Hunter, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  14. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Billy, You've got the idea, festivals and special events also help raise awareness of mountain resorts in summer. You just have to get up to a critical mass of open cafes and lodges, things to do and people who are aware of them and the process becomes self sustaining. Falls has the potential to be as appealing than Thredbo in summer. But Thredbo has a single head lease, whereas Falls has the "herding cats" obstructions you described.

    I'm not really an "operator". I just do one or two big package tours a year and a few snow walks and climbs. We have to remain non profit because there are NINE state government, federal government and insurance hoops to jump through if we want to make even a tiny profit. At the moment we can do a 5 day, 4 night trip with a choice of 3 guided walks each day and breakfasts, insurance, etc for $220 out of a 3½ or 4 star place or $150 for somewhere with bunk beds or without ensuites. BUT once we make even a dollar profit, costs rise by about $25 per person per day and it would take about 100 hours of work to re-establish the non profit outfit as a commercial operation . So while I'd really like to go commercial and there is a very strong demand for what my friends and I do, it's just too hard. [​IMG]

    But that belongs in a different thread, so I digress... back to lift companies and summer operations.

    Falls Creek has the bulk of the Australian market for high altitude training, but a 50 metre pool (like the one Thredbo has) would give them a monopoly. But I'm not sure it could be commercially justified.
     
    #64 Bogong, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  15. snowplough

    snowplough Hard Yards

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Bogong,
    You never stop coming up with the goods. I've travelled that road numerous times and thought I was pretty familiar with the region's transport infrastucture, but I had no idea of this little gem!
    What an interesting little railway. Definately going to have to check this one out further when I down that way next.
    Thanks for sharing this with us. [​IMG]

    SP
     
    #65 snowplough, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  16. snowplough

    snowplough Hard Yards

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    BK and Others,

    I agree that putting a pool in the complex would be of great benefit to the resort and their ability to further market themselves as a full attitude facility.
    Yes it would be a challenge to set one up and no doubt have several hurdles and roadblocks put before them, both from a financial and environmental perspective, but if the resort is serious about challenging other facilities, both in Australia and around the world to become a viable destination for athletes to train at them I feel that it is something really needs to be considered.

    One other thing for resorts to consider during the summer months is what activities families can do when the weather is inclement. Lets face it, we all know that any of the alpine resorts can have 5 seasons of weather in one afternoon. So the prospect of a family having to spend some time indoors is very real. It has been a while since I've stayed at FC, but I cannot recall anything for younger members of a family to do if it were say raining. Maybe a indoor activity centre with such things as a rock climbing wall might be an option or a play centre for the smaller kids. These facilities appear to be attracting more an more patronage as parents are looking for facilities that provide safe but physical activities for the rugrats... They do make great entertainers for the kids and usually at the end of the day they are so stuffed they crash hard that night. Its a win win for the parents.

    At the end of the day its about finding the right balance between the resort's biggest asset, the environment and the ability to get patrons to the region and hand over their hard earned for good high quality services; whether that be during the winter or summer season!

    Like many others have stated over several threads within these forums, I don't profess to have any of the answers, but the more ideas we collectively throw out there; the more chance of the resort management folks seeing them and maybe putting an action plan in place.

    We are all passionate about the sustained success of these resorts otherwise one would start to wonder why we are members of such forums? And yes at times we all wonder why resorts make the decisions that they do from time to time... At the end of the day we are all striving for the same end result. A sustainable skiing (or alpine) industry in Australia. Not all of us have the ability nor the option to travel abroad to follow our sport/ hobby as much as we'd all like to!

    Enough of my musings...

    Enjoy the xmas and new year folks [​IMG]

    SP
     
    #66 snowplough, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  17. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    That's a brilliant link to the rail pics Bogong.
    It is similar to the one at Rubicon power station, which you access via an inclined rail car from the car park and then travel alongside the aquaduct in a rail car to the reservoir
    At least it was there about 50 years ago, hopefully it still is!
     
  18. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    It's quite surreal lying in front of a nice fire at Falls reading suggestions for this Mtn & the rest over summer. All our (Oz) mtns are lovely & have some nice digs but for Vic Falls seems to come the closest to Thredbo in terms of the village feel.

    FWIW: We'll be taking our 3 YO boy-sprog for easy walks & rides around the Mtn over the next few days - its feels good to show him areas I learnt to ski/backpack 25 years ago.

    I've enjoyed reading the posts in this thread - I agree it's important to maintain the pressure on the resort/lift managers & govts. to get more happening while not trashing the qualities that attract us here for the 6-8 green/brown months.

    The beauty of the mtns in summer is that one can escape the crowds - that's increasingly hard to achieve at Victorian coast resorts over the warmer months (NSW too I presume?). By attracting city folks to the high country over summer it's a win- win as at least some pressure is removed from roads & accomodation at centers like Lorne, Cowes etc...while businesses in/around the mtns with plenty of capacity get a greater share of the tourist $.

    While I chill out after tea on this cool & misty Falls Evening I too would like to wish all a happy & safe Xmas/ New year. SG
     
  19. snowplough

    snowplough Hard Yards

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Snowgum,
    It is at this point I tell you that I really don't like you! [​IMG] I'm jealous! I could think of few better places to be right now then where you are and doing what you're doing.
    I too wish I could savor the moment on the mountain right now, but alas I cannot at present. I can only hope my time will come in the near future!

    Enjoy the walks with the fam mate. Have a safe and enjoyable NY...

    SP
     
    #69 snowplough, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  20. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    I think the haulage is still there, but it's certianly not operational. Have you ridden it? I'd assumed it hadn't been operational since the 1939 fires. The power station is still operational.
     
    #70 teckel, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  21. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    What's wrong with the lake? During the drought, they should have promoted it as a major water ski destination.
     
    #71 teckel, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  22. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    the lake isn't really kiddy friendly and certainly not an option on bad weather days.

    there is a plan (vision?) to build a sports centre including a pool. don't know big it would be though or how they going with finding funding.

    a pool would be good on a number of fronts
    something for kids to do when the weather is bad or after other activities (summer and winter)
    more attractive for athletes training in summer
    another facility for staff & residents
     
  23. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Yeh, i was with a bunch of scouts in about 1956
    Someone who knew someone arranged for us to ride all the way to the head of the aquaduct, from where we hiked to Marysville
    I remember seeing lots of mountain trout in the water
     
    #73 Charlie, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  24. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    As I said to Charlie yesterday, the Rubicon haulage was in use until about 1990. The carriage (which is still at the top of the incline held in place with wire rope) was lowered down a 1 km long incline with a 1 in 3 gradient.

    It looks a bit like the haulage beside the McKay Creek pipeline at Falls Creek, except it was through ash forest rather than snowgums.
     
  25. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    The old locomotive for the haulage (Malcolm Moore class) was relocated to the Alexandra Timber Tramway Museum last year, complete with its snowplough.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the pic below you can see the rails (bottom centre) beside the pipe that runs into the power station (still operating).

    [​IMG]

    Old carriage:

    [​IMG]

    Still a few timber trestle bridges there - only one was destroyed on Black Saturday.
     
    #75 teckel, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  26. priderock

    priderock Hard Yards

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    Happy New Year to all and apologies if I drift off topic for this thread. Camped at Bright Xmas/New Year and talk about hot !!! Took a drive with the kids up to Falls for a bit of cool air and wander around the resort and had a great afternoon. The summit chair lift was operating so took a ride to the top, had a bite to eat next to the sports centre and watched the bungee tramp and young guys playing basket ball. Only down side were the morons whose literary skills stopped at "f" and "c" every second word -in front of and directed at their 3 y/o !!!

    A pool would have been great and a little "quirky" but the kids would have been up for it...

    As a regular at Baw Baw I also wanted to check out Falls for the upcoming winter as the recent events at BB with the management issues puts me off. Any suggestions for accommodation would be appreciated ....normally stay in an apartment with the wife and kids. Is it better on mountain or say down at Mt Beauty and drive up or transfer.

    Early days but looking forward to another season. Thanks
     
  27. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Who is the company that owns the Hotham & Falls lift companies?

    But there'll be new management at BB next winter, so all those old probs should be gone.