Skiers and snowboarders in the Southern Hemisphere are excited to get back on snow after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the season for many areas.
On Monday, two ski areas in Australia spined chairlifts again with a couple more resorts scheduled to open through the week. Thredbo in New South Wales and Mt. Buller in Victoria were among the first ski areas to open in the country, but skiers and riders will face some major changes.
Australian ski areas will re-open with reduced capacity and limited services. Group ski and snowboarding lessons are not going to be offered, while mandatory social distancing will be enforced. Patrons will be only allowed to ride lifts with members of their immediate party, just two persons per quad chairlift and one person on every T-bar. Additionally, all indoor facilities at the ski fields will have a screening in place before guests are allowed to enter.
Following a devastating wildfire season and uncertainty over whether they would be able to open at all this season, ski areas are optimistic that tourism revenue will return to more normal levels with school holidays rapidly approaching. When Thredbo opened lift ticket reservations on their website the system quickly crashed, totally overwhelmed with public demand.
Ski resorts in the Northern Hemisphere are anxiously watching the reopening process from afar, hopeful they can reopen in time for next winter while learning from some of the new policies in place in Australia.
Vail Resorts owned properties Falls Creek, Perisher and Mount Hotham plan to open June 24th.