Australian ski resorts see best-ever winter start

Australian ski resorts see best-ever winter start

First weekend of powder on the slopes brings crowds out in record numbers
Australia winter sports
Snoooow -- Aussies hit the slopes in record numbers for this winter’s first skiing.

Last weekend’s public holiday in honor of Good Queen Bess back in Blighty brought a welcome bonus to Australia’s winter-sports resorts in the form of bumper crowds for the start of the ski season.

The June long weekend saw snow falls and some intense artificial snow-making at many of Australia’s top resorts, including Perisher, Mount Buller, Mount Baw Baw and Thredbo.

And with the snow came the skiers, snowboarders and fans of the great outdoors, booze and all.

More on CNNGo: Tourism Australia campaign blasted over boozers

Snow Australia -- you’ve heard of it, right? -- hasn’t tallied up the numbers yet, but individual winter-sports destinations are reporting record-breaking openings.

The promising start is especially welcome, as 2011 saw a fall in what the resorts term "skier days" from just over 2 million in 2010 to 1.879 million last year.

Perisher’s PR and business development manager, Neil Thew, told news.com.au the three days were keepers.

“It looks as though we had the biggest opening weekend ever,” he said.

“We expected it to be busy with the snow cover so good for this time of the year and the Snowy Mountains of Music festival, but we were absolutely astounded by the numbers that we had.”

Family friendly

Mount Buller’s resort manager, Tracey Barnes, reported a brisk start to the season there too.

“The snow-making team has pulled out all the stops to ensure we could get out and test out our ski legs this weekend,” she said.

“It’s fantastic to see plenty of families enjoying their first taste of snow for 2012.”

If you missed the opening-weekend slope-side action, there’s plenty more to look forward to through the winter.

Details are on Snow Australia’s Facebook page, which has a handy, takeaway Google Calendar, so there’s no excuse for sticking to the beach this year.

(Via news.com.au)

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