Skiing on confidence: Australian ski resorts

Thanks to snowmaking machines, operational days for Australian ski resorts are at an all-time high, despite the decreasing amount of natural snow on the ground. CEO of Australian Ski Areas Association Colin Hackworth said while global warming had seen a reduction in the amount of snow fall, the use of snow making machines had kept the industry thriving.

“The industry believes the number one adaption strategy to climate change is snow making. The resorts can make snow at any temperature and this helps their business, by attracting more clients by having more snow on the ground.”

Hackworth said this had given reassurance to many families to be able to book a trip to the ski fields and be confident the slopes would be open, especially at the start and end of the seasons.

“In the past, you’d have to wait and see if there was going to be snow on the ground, now families and visitors who book holidays can do so in advance knowing snow will be waiting for them when they arrive,” he said.

Buller Ski Lifts general manager Laurie Blampied said the critical piece for any alpine resort was reliable snow, which is why Mt Buller had invested $1.6m in the TechnoAlpin Snowfactory, which can produce 220 cubic metres of snow daily, at up to 15C.

“Forward bookings for this winter are at all time high due to the confidence surrounding our guaranteed snow for opening and new online booking tools making it easier to plan and book a winter holiday,” he said.

“Guests are locking in bookings early rather than waiting to see the snow fall,” he said. “Thanks to the Snowfactory investment, bookings for June are much stronger than usual.”

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