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Ski Season starts 24 June 2020

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    Because of covid fears, clothing and equipment like helmets may not be rented out this year. This means that people will have to buy their own winter wear, ski goggles, gloves , jackets, 2x skiing clothes , snow shoes, skiing boots, and gear outright to minimise the contagion.

    A guide to Australia's 2020 snow season amid pandemic

    By Dilvin Yasa| 3 weeks ago

    The one thing that doesn't appear to be cancelled in 2020 is the June long weekend, and while it's known as the starting pistol for our official ski season, questions regarding our ski fields are endless: Will the snow season go ahead as usual? What will change? Is it safe to holiday in the snow at a time like this?

    Much like everything else that's COVID-19-related, there are no firm answers when it comes to what our 2020 ski season will look like and when exactly each of the resorts will open.

    The Australian ski season won't be going ahead in time for the June long weekend. (Thredbo)When will the ski season start in Australia?

    In New South Wales, regional travel bans lift on June 1, and while the Australian Ski Areas Association had been hopeful the season would be able to kick off on June 6, both state governments

    Over the weekend, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that, "for those eager to hit the slopes, the ski season will open slightly later this year on 22 June."

    Today, the New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro gave the green light for state's ski fields to open from June 22 as well.

    However, that doesn't necessarily mean the country's top ski resorts will open then.

    Top Victorian ski destinations Mt Hotham and Falls Creek, as well as Perisher in New South Wales (all owned by Vail Resorts), have just announced a June 24 opening date, following the government's announcement earlier today.

    Pete Brulisauer, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Vail Resorts in Australia, said delaying the date beyond the states opening dates was intentional, to "ensure our entire team has the time to fully understand and embrace our new COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan so that we can deliver a safe experience for our guests."

    Thredbo will be leading the resort openings with a June 22 start date, while Charlotte Pass will open accommodation from June 25, and commence mountain operations from June 26.

    Expect longer queues for the ski lifts and far less crowded slopes this season.

    Leading experts say this year's snow season could be one of the best we've had in years, and of course, with the fear of infection and social distancing restrictions still in place, the slopes will be far less crowded than usual. So far so good, but some of the other changes to one of our favourite holidays may not viewed as favourably by some travellers.

    Australian Ski Areas Association chief executive Colin Hackworth told the Australian Financial Review that winter 2020 will look quite different to what we've seen previously.

    "Social distancing is going to be with us for some time to come, certainly longer than by the end of this ski season," he said.

    "With equipment rental, it may be that helmets and clothing are not rented this year unless the resorts can guarantee that it is safe to do so."

    Riding on ski lifts would be either with family members or those you live with, or you ride alone, he added.

    In line with social distancing requirements, skiers can also expect longer queues for lifts, limited gatherings (a nicer way of saying 'no party atmosphere' and the possibility of no group lessons, although this is still up for debate.

    Vail Resorts have announced some measures visitors can expect this season, with more to come at a later date. These include abandoning same-day lift ticket purchases (these must now be pre-purchased) and new social distancing rules based on the amount of terrain and lifts open.

    Charlotte Pass have hinted at a number of wellbeing measures to come, to give guests peace of mind.

    Thredbo will be trialling a revised operating model (whatever that means), developed under advice offered by the NSW Health Department and government. In accordance with social distancing measures, only private ski lessons will be available this season, so families and first-timers will need to keep that in mind when budgeting.
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