Falls Creek’s 2018 ski season is off to a flying start following news that the proposed $9 million upgrade to the resort’s popular Eagle chairlift has been approved.
Owned by global attraction operator, Merlin Entertainments Group, Falls Creek Ski Lifts today announced that the planned chairlift redevelopment received permit approval from the Victorian State Government and is on track to launch by Winter 2018.
The brand new Leitner-Poma designed chairlift will replace the original Eagle Chair, located in the Village Bowl precinct at Falls Creek. The upgrade will reveal a high-speed, detachable quad (four-person) model that features automatic, self-locking safety bars to provide enhanced security.
The new and improved chairlift will transport even more skiers and provide efficient and safer travel to the top of the alpine resort – with a capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour covering a distance of 5.1m per second.
“As Victoria’s largest Alpine resort, Falls Creek is delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the local community and the wider Victorian ski industry by delivering this significant investment. Following this year’s successful season, snow lovers now have even more to look forward to in 2018 with a faster, safer and more comfortable chairlift, ensuring even more time can be spent on the slopes,” said Falls Creek Ski Lifts’ General Manager, Sharon Raguse.
The existing chairlift seats will be rehomed – a selection will be available to purchase by Falls Creek guests and lodge owners at a public auction during the final week of the 2017 season with proceeds donated to the Falls Creek Museum. The remainder will be converted to bench seating and public art within the resort.
The original Eagle Chair was installed in 1979 and is one of Falls Creek’s most popular chairlifts, providing a spectacular scenic view on the way to the mountain top. Construction work for the upgrade is expected to begin by November 2017 and is due to be completed by May 2018.
The upgrade is the second multi-million-dollar ski investment made in two years by Merlin Entertainments Group, who also operate Mount Hotham. Earlier this year, a $4.4 million expansion to Hotham’s snowmaking infrastructure was completed, assuring even more snow and encouraging thousands of skiers and snowboarders to flock to the Victorian ski fields.
Merlin Entertainments’ Divisional Director – Australia and New Zealand, Rob Smith, noted, “The news of this significant upgrade at Falls Creek in 2018, following last year’s expansion at Hotham, signals Merlin Entertainments’ continued support and passion for enhancing the local alpine industry. We are very proud to operate two of Victoria’s most-popular ski fields and we are committed to continually setting the bar to deliver an exceptional experience for visitors”.