Mt Buller wins the internet with innovative season pass refunds

Those Buller sunsets

2020 hasn’t been the best year for most of us, right?

Skiers and snowboarders in Australia have struggled with lift ticket access, no snow, some snow, major snow but closed borders and closed resorts, need I go on? Our poor friends in Victoria got four days resort skiing in at Hotham and Falls Creek before they closed for 2020 and everyone in Melbourne shut their front doors for six weeks of lockdown.

That’s life in 2020 where nothing goes according to plan.

Mt Buller has chugged away doing their own thing. They chose to honour season passes this year, then they chose to honour folks who had pre booked accommodation to ensure they received lift tickets, then they stayed open as long as they possibly could before restrictions simply meant they could not anymore.

Now they’ve blown their core base away by offering them the choice of refund or credit for their 2020 season passes.

If you’re a season pass holder you choose how much you get back on refund.

The resort announced in March that they would provide Season Members and guests with Resort Entry Season Passes or Village Access Permits the reassurance of credit and refund options if the pandemic prevented them from visiting the resort.

Today they’ve announced how that option will run for the 44 days in which they operated before lockdown – don’t worry there is still hope they will reopen after lockdown for spring skiing.

Credit or refund

Buller Ski Lifts is providing both credits and refunds for season pass holders and the Resort Management Board is offering refunds to everyone who purchased a Resort Entry Season Pass or Village Access Permit for the 2020 Snow Season.

But here’s the thing, YOU choose how much you get back based on your experience, your appreciation not on the days you got to ski. Some folks got to ski all 44 days, others only one. Pass holders can choose a percentage refund in a range from 0-100% or choose the same in credit towards their 2021 season pass.

With no suitable ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer for refunds in a chaotic year, the lift company took the ground breaking step of providing Season Members the choice to contribute what they felt was appropriate to their situation in 2020.

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken so many choices away from all of us this year. As BSL wrestled with how to fairly assess credit or refund options we realised calculating days available or days used was not appropriate, so we took the decision to give our Members the choice to elect what contribution they wish to make,” said Buller Ski Lifts General Manager Laurie Blampied.

“The approach we’ve taken is unusual but has a lot to do with the trusted relationship we hold with our Members; these are passionate individuals and families who share our commitment to this mountain”. 

Let’s hope those that can pull their weight, do, and those that can’t are looked after by the community we all benefit from.

But wait, there’s more

2020 Season Members that rollover a credit to 2021 get to lock in last year’s price ($799 for adults and $449 for Kids) as an additional bonus.

Everyone’s Memberships will still be valid – regardless of which option they choose – if the resort can reopen later this month. Yes!

That’s a win win in a year of major losses.

Got a question? The answers are here. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.