The Australian ski season so far has been rough. They had a slow start to the season due to a lack of natural snow and minimal opportunities to conduct snowmaking. An active snow pattern arrived for a couple of weeks, but a recent warm front resulted in declining snow depth. In addition, Selwyn Snow Resort has been closed for weeks due to a lack of snow. Some snow fell over the weekend though, and more is on the way.

With these conditions, along with the fact that Australia is currently dealing with economic issues, you would think that skier visitation is down. Surprisingly, reports that visitation at the Victorian Alp resorts is up compared to other recent seasons.

While numbers so far are down compared to the snow-filled 2022 season that also saw the loosening of pandemic restrictions, they are up from the 2013-2020 seasons. The Victorian ski resorts, which include Mt Buller and Falls Creek, have seen around 562,124 people this season compared to 689,346 people last year. While this is a large decrease, some weeks this season have actually seen higher visitation than last year.

A spokesman for Falls Creek described how this season is going to

“When comparing to previous seasons, we have seen more visitors to date relative to pre-Covid numbers in 2019 and the huge 2022 snow season opening one week ahead of schedule. Despite this, we are tracking just marginally behind that record-breaking season. In fact, the last four weeks have exceeded the equivalent periods for 2022.”

The situation reminds me a bit of New England ski resorts. They’re lots of bad conditions, but they’re moments where it can be a great experience. In addition, skier visits in New England were strong in spite of the warmer weather, which is similar to Australia’s season so far. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for our friends down under that things turn around.

A video report on the 2023 Australian ski industry from ABC News Australia is below.

Image/Video Credits: Mt Buller (Featured Image), Falls Creek (Header Image), Australian Broadcast Channel

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