Thredbos Huge $135m facelift! (21 Sep 2013)  Show all News



Australia’s leading ski resort, Thredbo, is in line for $135 million facelift with a new chairlift, a major hotel revamp and a new city centre to attract more visitors in summer and winter.

Village operator Kosciuszko Thredbo has been quietly presenting plans for the new lift, an upgrade of the Thredbo Alpine Hotel and a town centre redevelopment to a number of business owners in the village since before the start of the 2013 ski season.

Listed tourism and leisure group Amalgamated Holdings, the owner of the NSW resort, has refused to comment on the plans, but Thredbo village manager Stuart Diver confirmed that the resort was in the final stages of preparing a number of projects.

An application for a $20 million ski lift was “just about” to be lodged with the NSW Department of Planning, Mr Diver said. It will run from the Village Terminal to “somewhere in the region” of Karels, Australia’s highest lifted point. “We’re looking at various options, obviously it would go on a similar alignment to the existing Ramshead chair, but it would go higher,” he said.

The new chair will provide greater access to the resort’s Golf Course Bowl, a tree-lined valley favoured by skiers and snow boarders chasing deeper snow and steeper terrain.

Thredbo has just weathered one of the worst ski seasons in recent history, hammered by rain and warm weather. The latest plans are understood to be an attempt to make the village more resilient as a holiday destination.

This includes bulking up infrastructure for summer activities, in addition to off-snow attractions for winter.

Some local businesses have been told of preparations to make the Village Terminal the town’s primary base, rather than Friday Flat on the village fringes, in an effort to bring more day-trippers into the town-centre. Mr Diver said the group had also considered bulking up the number of buildings at Friday Flat to better cater to first-timer demand.

Local businesses and residents say the capital works can’t come soon enough. “Nobody has spent any money on Thredbo for a very long time,” HotShots photographer and long-term resident Randy Wieman said.

Resident and Rip Curl store owner Reggae Ellis agreed. “I’ve seen the plans and I reckon it’s long overdue. I think they’ve realised the resort has a lot of potential to attract people year-round,” he said. All plans must jointly receive approval from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Department of Planning.


Taken from the Financial Review 18-09-2013