Snow BusinessJune 18th, 2014 | | industry
About 20 centimetres fell above 1,500 metres last weekend, blanketing the upper slopes at Perisher and Thredbo. The snowfall marks a late start to the ski season, which typically begins on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. It comes after one of the east coast’s warmest autumns in more than 40 years.
And there’s more to come for the Snowy Mountains, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with snow predicted to fall on the lower resorts in coming days, including up to 15 centimetres at Perisher and Thredbo.
The lack of snow has meant tourists have so far shied away from the Snowy Mountains. These falls mean the higher slopes finally have a base to start working with and the region’s ski resorts have finally switched on their snow machines. Perisher was the only Australian resort that was open for skiing and boarding as of last weekend, but Thredbo is not expected to be far behind.
It’s a similar situation in Victoria. The ground is white at Mount Hotham; snow started to fall mid- morning on Saturday and covered the top of the resort white. Falls Creek’s ski patrol reports that 2 cm of snow fell overnight, and the forecast is looking promising for the next few nights with cold temps for snowmaking and hopefully some natural snow.
David McNamara, communication manager at Buller Ski Lifts, said the forecasts for Mount Buller were promising, and hopes were high that “Mother Nature has now decided to come to the party”.
The arrival of the first snowfalls has been welcomed by the $1.8 billion-a-year industry, which employs almost 20,000 people.