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Where is everybody?

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by Scott No Mates, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates One of Us

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    With over a metre of fresh snow on the ground, Summit open at the end of June, a Bluebird day in FC (at times) and School holidays in Vic, NSW & Qld (probably more states), not a single bod in several of the lodges.

    A word to a couple of lodge owners - phones went wild when the snow hit - booked out for weeks in AUGUST but nothing for July.

    What is going on?
     
  2. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    Over the last 15 years lifts and entry charges have gone up, up, up. Growth in number of skiers, how long they stay and how often they stay has fallen. The quantity of accommodation has grown over that time. Seasons less reliable than the boom years of the 70's. Overseas travel more affordable. Short interstate flights more economical. People have more choices, and are generally more time poor. All leading to lower occupancy rates and contraction into a shorter fully booked period. The last few years the lift company has been trying to win skiers back with value deals. But is is probably too late to turn it around, the best that can be hoped for is to turn a decline to a gradual long term increase.
    That said I have been running off-mountain accommodation for 40 years in Mount Beauty and except for one weekend vacant and one mid-week we are fully booked at the moment from June 21 to the end of August. This year our bookings are the strongest in a decade. Some of the improvement is one of many constant new marketing approaches which is doing surprisingly well and the rest I do not know why.
    I am not too impressed by many of the things FCRM do but their work on promoting road and mountain biking is worthwhile and it is possible that summer business will start boosting winter visitation as well as winter fame helping summer occupancy.
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    Family holidays are planned by mum.

    Mum's always plan in advance

    School holiday's got committed months ago - elsewhere - a snow holiday was not chosen because of last year's terrible school holiday conditions.

    This cycle effects the more expensive options leaving them vacant now - cheap options are quick to fill on the back of a strong snowfall from the 'weekend warrior' type who is usually male, mid 20's to mid 30's, single and traveling light, maybe with one or two similar mates.
     
    MisterMxyzptlk and piolet like this.
  4. ODNT

    ODNT Part of the Furniture

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    The above rings true +
    School holidays peak periods are very expensive for families
    We always took kids out of school , but now in their snr years no can do
    I remember 6 yrs ago in School Holidays , return flights from QLD (not cheap in SH) , bus transfers, 7 days accom on snow around 7+k
     
  5. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    I'm not surprised your business is doing well.

    Seems to me the that differential in the cost of staying on mountain, compared to accomodation in the valley, is steadily increasing.

    BTW, how many motels in Mount Beauty now ? I can think of 3.
     
  6. Balsta

    Balsta One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Funny you mentioned it, I was just looking at all the Ski Cams and I noticed that most lifts seemed to have plenty of empty seats etc. I was a bit surprised to be honest, I generally stay away from Perisher during the school holidays but maybe a day trip Thursday or Friday is warranted.
     
  7. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    Maybe punters from afar were scared off earlier by the spectre of El Nino arriving this winter.

    Fewer people is bad for business, but good for us skiers.
     
  8. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hardly any queues.longest wait less than a minute. A good day.
     
  9. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    A lot of folk saying next week is fairly solid. Hope so..hate to see these conditions wasted.
    Dinner plans should be simple figure I will walk past a few places turn around and have a progressive dinner back to accommodation. ;)
     
  10. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Charlotte Pass is pretty well booked out for the next couple of weeks.
     
  11. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dunno about others, but days on the slopes for me cost heaps on my income. Can't just say "let's jump in the car and head up for a few days" due to finances and work issues. Sad reality. Its expensive.
     
  12. baptism

    baptism First Runs

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    If you're planning a 5 day trip peak, its almost just as much to go to japan!
     
  13. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    This^
    and this ^

    I looked a Perisher for next week during school holidays. 3 months ago, a week in Sydney looked a safer and cheaper option. And I had to go to sydney for work and I go there all the time for work, yet never take the family.
     
  14. Amelia1810

    Amelia1810 One of Us

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    I can see why people, particularly families would consider other holidays. A 2bdrm apartment for 7 nights is 3-5k (on the lower end). My boyfriend and I will be spending that much for an entire month in a Canadian resort. Next year his family want to come along (if we even go, don't think you'll be able to top this years snowfall by July!) and in my head, off-mountain is probably the only way to go.

    We booked early this year to save 15% but of course a risk because you don't know how the season will shape. Our accomm. for 7 nights totalled little over 1k (for the both of us) on-snow in Falls for the second week of SA holidays. Luckily we haven't had to pay for our travel and we have our own gear. So it was only lift tickets, which we purchased yesterday with the 15% discount to save ourselves more pennies (but would've reconsidered if there hadn't been this much snow). I summed up NZ and it would have been double what we're paying. You have to try on-snow at least once and we are super excited and can't wait for the experience. Yeah it's expensive but it's memories and not something we will do very often coming from Adelaide plus we don't have those expensive little humans tagging along lol! Sorry for the tangent...
     
    Stratus likes this.
  15. Bluebird

    Bluebird One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I guess a lot of people were waiting to see what the snow was like, and when it was looking pretty dire a few weeks ago decided to go elsewhere. Most families would have to commit to their holiday plans fairly early on, and many other adults wouldn't have the flexibility to go at short notice.

    Thankfully, my +1 (@RedBeard_Boarder ) and I have the flexibility and just last week made a last-minute booking for Hotham for the week after next.
     
  16. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    I think the point that Scot was making and a few people have missed is that it is not just this week that there is low bookings but later in July when people can be fairly confident of reasonable cover.
    Amelia said
    "I summed up NZ and it would have been double what we're paying."
    I hope you were comparing off mountain prices at Falls with NZ as all NZ accommodation is off mountain and much of it less convenient in terms of road and parking than Mount Beauty to Falls. In Mount Beauty you can get three bedroom for $1250 per week if you book early. I think that you would be lucky to get NZ for only double when you take in airfare, and car hire even with the lower lift tickets.
     
  17. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    My own take on the matter is that very very few people go to the mountains in the summer, the rates and charges for businesses in the mountains are among the highest in Australia, the cost of doing maintenance is also very high and almost all businesses have to make a years profit in only 3 months.
    You add all these factors to the very poor approach roads and the ridiculous cost of parking and is it any wonder most people can't afford to go skiing and pay off a mortgage too
    I can only afford to ski this year because of the early bird price and because I camp back country for the season
     
    Ubiquitous Steve likes this.
  18. FlatLander

    FlatLander Addicted

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    The first week of the school holidays is traditionally fairly quiet compared to next week. Starting tomorrow you wont be saying "where's everybody". So it will be busy for the next 2 weeks then drop off again somewhat until August.

    But... the very high cost of sking and unreliable snow has everyone being more opportunist about their sking. Booking at last minute, shorter stays, non-typical durations (eg not Mon-Fri and Fri-Sunday), and the fact that many more visitors are staying off mountain (like the "old" days) as gives them more options during bad weather. I see plenty of people only renting 1 day (with option to extend), buying lift tickets day by day. Going to wineries on the rainy days, etc etc etc.