Alpine businesses rebound from COVID crisis as visitors flock to slopes

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Businesses in the state’s alpine region have welcomed a strong start to the winter season with groups of visitors arriving in droves.

Mansfield business owner Dean Belle said it had been an “absolute hit of a season” with the amount of snow falling, and it had set things up nicely for the rest of the season. ‘winter.

He said he was very pleased with the number of visitors entering his coffee shop, as well as his mini-golf, coffee and donut business.

“Family groups, multi-generational, and there’s just a big smile on their faces.

“They just say, ‘It’s so nice to be back in the mountains and around the place’.”

Mr Belle said that while staff shortages were impacting many businesses this season, it was nice to see people returning to stores.

Record snow and number of visitors

The Falls Creek Alpine Resort board said it recorded record snow depth and attendance at the start of the winter season.

Council chief executive Stuart Smythe said a snow depth of over 104 centimeters for the Queen’s Long Weekend was the deepest they had seen since their records began in 1934.

Falls Creek says more than 12,500 skiers visited its slopes over the recent Queen’s Birthday long weekend. (Provided: Falls Creek Management Board )

Mr Smythe said they also saw significant numbers of visitors over the weekend.

He said there was a high degree of expectation for the rest of the season.

“We predict that we will easily get between 450,000 and 500,000 ski days this winter,” he said.

“That would definitely put him up there as one for the record books.”

welcome back trade

Tourism North East CEO Bess Nolan-Cook said it was absolutely wonderful to see people back on the trails.

“Certainly we are hearing from accommodation providers that occupancy is incredibly high, if not completely full, over the next school holidays.”

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