Within minutes of launching their online ticket sales, Thredbo ski resort was inundated with tens of thousands of snow-lovers keen to ensure their place in the lift lines this season. After a record number of customers queued on their on-line store, the resort was forced to extend the sales to midday today.
As a new measure to comply with strict COVID social distancing laws, skiers and snowboarders will not be able to buy tickets on the day, forcing skiers and riders to buy their passes in advance.
“Thredbo Resort has been overwhelmed by demand for the first release of 2020 lift passes today and we are thrilled that guests are eager to return to the mountain.”
– Thredbo spokesperson
The resort will be opening on June 22nd at a reduced capacity and introducing a range of social distancing and sanitization measures. There will also be a 5-foot “ski tip to tail” social distancing in lift lines and just two people per quad chair, two per gondola cabin, and one per T-bar.
“On the mountain, daily capacity will be limited to enable the resort to open under the Government restrictions. As a result, all guests will need to pre-purchase day lift passes or multi-day passes prior to arrival.”
– Thredbo management said in a statement
Food and beverage options and indoor seating will be limited, and accommodation, hotels, apartments, and lodges will operate at reduced capacity. With international travel, in or out of the country, still not likely in the near future, Australian ski fields are expecting significant crowds throughout the snow season.
As Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham prepare for a June 24 opening of the 2020 snow season, Vail Resorts yesterday announced the implementation of a similar COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan for its Australian resorts.
Thredbo is a village and ski resort in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, situated in a part of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council, and has been operated by Event Hospitality and Entertainment since 1987. It is about 310-miles south of Sydney, accessible by the Alpine Way via Cooma, Berridale, and Jindabyne. The village is built in the valley of the Thredbo River, also known as the Crackenback River, at the foot of the Ramshead Range.
The town has around 4,150 beds, but a permanent population of only about 471 people. When the mountain is fully covered by snow, Thredbo has the longest ski runs in Australia, and this attracts around 700,000 winter visitors annually. In summer, Thredbo is a hiking and summer sports destination, including rock climbing and abseiling, fishing, cross-country cycling, and downhill MTB riding and hosts a blues music festival, boasting approximately 300,000 summer visitors (figures are as of 2005).