Just before Victoria’s second wave, the demand for ski lift passes had soared with thousands queueing online to get their passes.
The total number of Google searches for ‘lift passes’ and ‘ski passes’ (908 searches) were at an all time high since June 2011 (1131 searches), despite many ski resorts having cut their maximum capacities to adhere to social distancing rules.
However, Victoria saw record-breaking new cases of COVID-19 early July. With borders closing, the introduction of new postcode restrictions and lockdowns, it’s unlikely that everyone who’s bought tickets will be able to go.
Ski lift passes have dropped in price
The complete withdrawal of international tourism has caused a massive detriment to many local businesses around Australia. Ski resorts have dropped their prices to encourage local tourism amidst this economic crisis.
When Thredbo released tickets in June, their website to crashed because of the sheer number of people overwhelming the site. Other ski resorts, such as Perisher, sold out of tickets until the 10 July,[i] but may release more tickets at a later date.
Here is a 2019/2020 comparison of the average prices (three-day pass for adults) for the five most popular ski resorts in Australia.
|Ski resort||2019 prices||2020 prices|
|Mount Hotham||Data unavailable||$399[iv]|
|Note: Prices vary depending on which day you go, how many days in advance you purchase the passes, and whether you purchase them at the resort or online.|
How are new restrictions impacting ski resorts?
Ski resorts offered great-value deals mid-June before Australia saw the spikes in COVID-19 for the second time in late June/early July. While interstate borders have reopened recently, New South Wales is temporarily closing its borders to Victoria from 8 July.[xi]
Thredbo (NSW) have stated that they’ve had to reduce their maximum capacity by 50% to adhere to social distancing rules. However, they’re not expecting a significant impact on their winter trade because they only receive a small percentage of skiers from Victoria each year.
While resorts in NSW aren’t as impacted by new restrictions, their neighbours in Victoria tell a different story. Falls Creek and Mount Hotham (VIC) have suspended their ski lift operations entirely due to COVID-19. [xii]
A spokesperson from Falls Creek reported that they’ve had reduced visitation this season.
Both resorts also offered refunds on entry and season passes for those unable to visit this year due to government restrictions.
“My friends and I couldn’t make it to Falls Creek this year because of COVID-19,” said Julia Nguyen, a resident from a restricted postcode in Victoria.
Are you travelling domestically this year?
If you’re planning to travel around Australia, it may be good to consider getting domestic travel insurance. Despite Australia being home, not everyone is financially immune to cancellations, delays, lost baggage and other unexpected costs.
Sources[i] Perisher. (2020). Pricing & Buy Online. Retrieved from https://www.perisher.com.au/tickets-passes/perisher-shop/tickets-lessons-rentals. Accessed 6 July 2020.
[ii] Perisher. (2020). Lift Pass, Lessions & Hire Packages. Retrieved from https://onsnow.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Perisher-22-Jul-1-Sep-2019-Lift-Passes-Lessons-Hire-Pricelist.pdf. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[iii] Ski Cheap. (2020). Perisher Lift Pass, Lessons, Hire Rates 2020. Retrieved from http://www.skicheap.com.au/perisher/perisher-lift-pass-lessons-hire-rates/. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[iv] Ski Cheap. (2020). Hotham Lift Pass Prices 2020. Retrieved from http://www.skicheap.com.au/mt-hotham/lift-pass-prices-hotham/. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[v]Thredbo. (2019). Winter 2019 Social Group Rates. Retrieved from https://www.thredbo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-Winter-Social-Group-Rates.pdf. Accessed 6 July 2020.
[vi] Ski Cheap. (2020). Lift Passes Prices at Thredbo 2020. Retrieved from http://www.skicheap.com.au/thredbo/thredbo-lift-passes-prices/. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[vii] Falls Creek. (2020). Locals Pass. Retrieved from https://www.fallscreek.com.au/localspass/. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[viii] Ski Cheap. (2020). Lift Prices at Falls Creek. Retrieved from http://www.skicheap.com.au/falls-creek/lift-passes-prices-at-falls-creek/. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[ix] Mt Buller Accommodation Service. (2019). Mt Buller Lift Passes 2019. Retrieved from https://www.mtbulleraccommodation.com/lift-tickets/. Accessed 6 July 2020
[x] Mt Buller. (2020). Calendar. Retrieved from https://shop.mtbuller.com.au/ecomm/shop/calendar/6746917/en-AU/?productcategoryid=117&startYear=2020&startmonth=7. Accessed 17 July 2020
[xi] NSW Government. (2020). Border closure to protect NSW. Retrieved from https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/border-closure-to-protect-nsw. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[xii] Falls Creek. (2020). Snow Season Update | Halt on Ski Lift Operations. Retrieved from https://www.fallscreek.com.au/snow-season-update-halt-on-ski-lift-operations/?fbclid=IwAR0ZiSsXmdFfVdMS_jmqBSDLtWppn_YQbYCGB-VnEszgM8JwbGIR5fJy15I. Accessed 17 July 2020.
[xiii]Mt Hotham. (2020). Update: Hotham to Suspend Lift Operations due to COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.mthotham.com.au/discover/connect-with-us/latest-news/covid-19-update. Accessed 17 July 2020.