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Australia’s ski industry facing massive challenges through Coronavirus crisis

Australia’s ski industry facing massive challenges through Coronavirus crisis
July 26, 2020

Contributing well over $2 billion annually to the national economy and one of the biggest employers in regional Australia, the ski industry is facing unprecedented challenges during the current Coronavirus crisis.

With Melbourne in lockdown, ski lifts closed at two of the major Victorian resorts and others in NSW and Victoria running on restricted numbers due to COVID-19, Australia’s snow industry is in crisis.

Snowsports Industries of Australia President, Edward Fortey advises “it desperately needs assistance.

“The retailers, ski hires, bars, restaurants, lodges and other businesses employ mainly seasonal and local workers. Few if any of them are qualifying for JobKeeper or other assistance (and) many businesses (now) have zero turnover.”

Speaking to Snow Action, Fortey places the ski industry with international tourism and hospitality as being among the most affected areas of the economy, noting that without ongoing relief a lot of long term businesses will be lost.

Advising that JobKeeper has helped, Fortey sees that more needs to be done to avoid “zombie” businesses, adding “most of these are small businesses and many of them family-owned.

“In the regions, bushfires this year decimated the summer business in NSW and Victoria, leaving operators waiting for winter to make up ground. But that isn’t how it’s turning out.”

The snow industry’s contribution to regional Australia sees it provide the equivalent of more than 20,000 full-time jobs.

Image: A lone skier on the skilift at Victoria's Mt Buller.

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19th July 2020 - Without JobKeeper 60% of Australian fitness businesses will close in less than a month

16th July 2020 - Victoria’s Mt Buller advises of ongoing ski operations

15th July 2020 - With Victorian border closed Australia’s ski season focuses on NSW

9th July 2020 - Vail Resorts suspend operations at Mt Hotham and Falls Creek due to latest COVID-19 outbreak

22nd June 2020 - Opening of NSW ski season backed by COVIDSafe hygiene measures

11th June 2020 - Vail Resorts to implement COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan and expand 2020 Epic Australia Pass to include Epic Coverage

4th June 2020 - Mt Hotham’s 2020 snow season focus is on keeping visitors safe

29th May 2020 - 2020 snow season for Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek to open on 24th June

26th May 2020 - Vail Resorts to offer refunds for Epic Australia Pass and New Pass Options

25th May 2020 - Announcement of 2020 snow season welcomed by Mt Hotham

24th May 2020 - Victorian Government announces opening of gyms and ski fields from 22nd June

11th May 2020 - Australian Ski Resorts launch Keep Our Season Safe Campaign

1st May 2020 - Alpine Village plans to open for Winter visitors

11th April 2020 - Australia’s ski resorts prepare for winter 2020 season amid Coronavirus uncertainty

6th February 2020 - Extensive bushfire damage prevents Selwyn Snow Resort opening for 2020 season

19th January 2020 - Mount Hotham reopens and encourages visitors

8th October 2019 - Program announced for 2019 winter sports National Participation Conference


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