Hotham and Falls Creek delay ski season opening until July 6

Hotham web cam today. Ouch. You can't help the weather.

Whatever you do, do not shoot the messenger. The Vail Resorts Australia 2020 Covid season has more plot twists than Days of Our Lives re-runs. Just when you think you’ve caught up, damn Beau and Hope split up again and some curve ball or the late Victor’s love child comes flying in from the right and the script has changed.

What now, you say? Well, that rain that was forecast at the beginning of last week for the weekend just gone. Yep, that’s killed snow making and snow conditions and if you managed to get yourself tickets for June 24 to July 12, then secure yourself some accommodation, well, this article comes with a warning. You’d better read it sitting down.

Hotham and Falls Creek had already delayed opening until June 29. Today they have announced they will not be opening the ski lifts for the 2020 snow season until July 6 due to, well, that weather cycle. You can’t ski without snow and you can’t force Ullr to show up ‘cos we all know he’s a commitaphobe.

The delay is to ensure that Hotham and Falls Creek can open enough terrain to provide a safe experience in accordance with the COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan.

That’s the bad news. The good news is Vail Resorts is offering full refunds on all lift, lesson and rental purchases that have been made for Hotham and Falls Creek for the period 24 June – 5 July. AND Perisher opened today and is underway with great Front Valley snow conditions.

Perisher, today. Photo credit: Perisher

There is also some more good news. Vail Resorts will keep the Epic Australia Pass on sale until 5 July and will also allow guests until this extended date to request a refund. So if you got caught in the Perisher site crash, yesterday, there is still hope (but no Beau). 

And if you have a 2020 Epic Australia Pass, 2019-20 Epic Pass and 2019-20 Epic Military Pass holders then you will be advised shortly of the timing and process for pass access reservations for the period 6 to 12 July. 

In alignment with physical distancing protocols, Vail Resorts will be carefully managing the number of skiers and snowboarders accessing Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek, based on the amount of terrain and lifts open.

To enjoy the best possible snow experience and to guarantee resort access, guests who do not have a season pass will be required to pre-purchase their lift tickets, lessons and rentals online, in advance of their visit.

Same-day lift ticket sales will not be available at Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham. Tickets are available for purchase on the resort websites.

Watch this space for more news. Though, we may have hitched a ride out of 2020 by then. Destination back to our mother’s womb. It’s safer there. You gotta laugh, right? And you gotta feel for everyone working this ski season, it ain’t no picnic.

In the meantime if you want real time intel from fellow skiers and snowboarders also navigating the Covid 2020 lift ticketing and purchase systems across Australia’s resorts then join our Miss Snow It All Deals and Chatter group. They like to share their knowledge in there, tell them we sent you.

While we have you, help SnowsBest remain your independent source of snow news this winter with a “Covid contribution“, so we can continue to deliver the news and content you value in a season when we need each other most. Contribute 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.