Last week, Australian police raided thirteen separate bars at the ski areas of Thredbo, Perisher, and Jindabyne. According to PlanetSki, a total of sixty people were searched, resulting in the arrests of eight individuals. The arrestees were apparently in possession of either MDMA or cocaine, or both. Nine other individuals, most possessing cannabis, received warnings from the police but were not arrested. One of the arrestees was a snowboard instructor at Perisher, he has since been fired by the resort. A British ski instructor at Perisher was recently jailed for ten years after assaulting a man and then raping his female companion. The instructor is believed to have been under the influence of drugs.
The raid comes almost exactly a month after Australian border police seized an excavator filled with $132 million of cocaine, a unique smuggling ploy that became viral internationally. The excavator was believed to have been en-route to Australian ski areas. Crime statistics provided by the police force of New South Wales show that the winter months bring about increased drug charges around NSW ski-areas, although this increase can likely be attributed to the swell of winter crowds.
Australia’s ski resorts have been known to have drug issues, along with many other ski areas around the globe. It’s hard to consider this connection surprising, as people go to resorts to enjoy themselves and spend lavishly. Skiing and party culture have long been connected, especially amongst younger shredders. PlanetSki anonymously interviewed a ski instructor at Perisher, who stated that “It cannot be denied that some people take drugs in Perisher and other resorts in the area… but it is not worse than other areas I have taught in across the world.