Australian alpine resorts are slowly announcing their official reopening dates, a little later in the 2020 winter season than usual. Thredbo is the first to outline exactly how guests will maintain social distancing both on and off the snow.
With the easing of social isolation regulations, Australian states and territories are slowing beginning to allow residents to travel regionally for the purposes of holidays.
Ski resorts have been anxiously awaiting such rulings for weeks, but the 2020 ski season has recently been officially green-lighted by both New South Wales and Victorian governments.
Thredbo resort, in NSW’s Snowy Mountains, have announced their official reopening date: Monday, 22nd of June – conditions permitting. And has gone a step further than other ski resorts by providing details on exactly how they will ensure guests remain safe amid the fear of infection from COVID-19.
In a press release released today, Thredbo stated:
“To enable the resort to open for skiing and snowboarding, Thredbo will be implementing a revised operating model that has been developed under the advice provided by the NSWHealth Department and the State and Federal Governments. The revised model includes reduced daily capacity limits by up to 50% on usual capacity at this stage and the implementation of a range of social distancing and sanitisation measures.”
Social distancing on the hill
A “1.5m ‘ski tip to tail’ social distancing in lift queues and a limit of two per quad chair, two per gondola cabin and one per T-bar.”
No group ski or snowboarding lessons
“Only private skiing and snowboarding lessons are able to be offered.” Children’s ski lessons will also be closed, with the resort stating “Thredboland [the three to six year old ski programme] will be unable to open at the time of the season opening, but this will continue to be monitored as restrictions ease.”
Hospitality venues will be open for business
Restaurants and bars will operate in alignment withGovernment restrictions as they continue to evolve.
Hygiene and sanitation measures will be stepped up
“The resort has invested in best practice hygiene and sanitisation measures including installing sanitisation stations throughout the resort and has incorporated new procedures to effectively sanitise high use areas including chairlifts, gondola cabins and rental equipment.”
Thredbo Resort General Manager Stuart Diver said of the new measures, “The wellbeing of our guests and our people is always our highest priority at Thredbo. We have worked hard with the relevant authorities to be able to open Thredbo this winter, which will look quite different to previous years. Our revised operating model is necessary for us to operate within the NSW Government’s social distancing restrictions and capacity restraints, to allow us to open.
“We would really appreciate if guests could exercise patience as we navigate through the season and play their part in respecting social distancing requirements. We’ll be communicating all safety messages to our guests prior to arrival and remind guests they should not visit the resort if they are unwell.