• COVID UPDATE - 12 June

    The Lodge is open but very constrained by government restrictions regarding who can stay. The situation has been changing rapidly and often with very short notice. Please bear with us as we strive to accommodate as many bookings as Government restrictions allow. Our booking officer Alan Long has the onerous task of adjusting the bookings and communicating directly members who have booked. Please don't shoot the messenger!

    The limit on the capacity of the lodge is the same as the Victorian government's cap on private gatherings.

    This is currently a single household (or intimate partner or single bubble) plus 2 adults and their dependents. 

    Hopefully by 18 June, Melbourne based Members and Guests will be permitted to travel to the Lodge, however at this stage we are still not permitted to take new bookings from Melbourne based residents. We are allowing Melbourne members to express interest in future booking times using the normal tentative booking request process. No bookings from Melbourne members can be confirmed at this time.

    If there are more bookings than permitted by the restrictions, the Booking Officer will have discretion to determine which eligible bookings can use the Lodge. 

    Keeping up to date with changes

    Some additional government guidelines for alpine resorts were published last week. Our full COVID Safe Plan has been revised to ensure that it still complies. This is a rather bulky document that includes much material of little interest to most Members and Guests. We had previously prepared a summary of our COVID Safe Plan so you can see at a glance how we expect to operate this Winter. The table below summarises factors  that may override the summary.

    Of course we respond to any updates in government advice. The best way for you to keep abreast of lodge contions is to check the COVID status on the club website.

    Major changes to a normal season in the Lodge

    • Before this outbreak, we had been hoping that cleaning requirements for shared accommodation would be eased. Unfortunately that is not the case. Once we get busy, we will need to close the Lodge from 11am Sunday to 3pm Monday each week for thorough deep cleaning of the entire Lodge. Before the latest lockdown, we expected this to start in the middle of Victorian school holidays on Sunday 4 July, with all bookings that were due to start on the Sunday to be postponed until the Monday. If the cap on private gatherings remains low, the introduction of the Sunday night block-out may be delayed from July 4th due to the low volume of people that can be in the Lodge under those restrictions. For Members and Guests who have a booking that spans two consecutive weeks, they will be allowed to remain in the Lodge but with some restrictions so as not to interfere with the deep cleaning.
    • We have also had to introduce a COVID cleaning surcharge of $5 per head per night. This will apply equally to all categories of members, guests and children.
    • You must bring masks to the lodge. Depending on government restrictions at the time, you may need to wear them whenever you are outside your bedroom. You will need them in all venues and vehicles throughout the resort.
    • You will need to be mindful of social distancing in common areas and scupulous about hygienne.
    • You will need to complete a Liability Waiver and a Patron Health Accommodation Questionnaire before you travel to the Lodge, which will be provided to you via e-mail.
    • If you are arriving on a Sunday, or Monday after a block-out day, you are requested to arrive at the Lodge between 3pm and 6pm. The meet and greet session that evening will brief you on the COVID conditions in the Lodge as well as the normal information. If you are arriving on a different day or cannot arrive by 6pm on Sunday/Monday, you will need to text the Lodge Manager to advise her of your estimated arrival time.
    • Please read the summary of our COVID Safe Plan for a fuller idea of how this year will differ from a normal season at the Lodge.

    Hopefully the restrictions will ease soon and we can enjoy the lodge together this winter.

    Key settings

    Hotspots   No Melbourne residents or people who have visited Melbourne recently
    Lodge Capacity  One household plus 2 adults and their dependents
    Visitors Not allowed until capacity permits
    Bedrooms shared between bookings Not until restrictions ease
    Masks Must be worn indoors unless eating, drinking or otherwise exempt
    COVID cleaning surcharge $5 per person per night for all categories of members & guests
    Sunday blockout Expected to commence on Sunday 4 July but may be delayed if private gathering cap remains very low
    Physical distancing At least 1.5m where feasible
    Density 1 person per 2sqm in all common areas

     Travelling from interstate?

    1. QR code check in is mandatory at the lodge and nearly everywhere on the mountain. This will be easiest if you install the Service Victoria app on your smart phone
    2. You will need an entry permit fror Victoria. Unless you are coming from a hotspot, it is a formaility akin to checking in, in case they need to find you later
    3. Check the border and quarantine rules for your state (and any states you will transit)




  • Covid Update 17 June

    Thank you for your patience about when and if the lodge can open this year. We know that many of you are very keen to know when you may be able to enjoy skiing and boarding at Falls Creek. While the committee has spent considerable time preparing for a season, ultimately we have had to wait for government permissions and guidelines.

    Both the lift company and resort management have set final dates for requesting refunds on season passes: 18 June for resort entry passes and 19 June for Epic Australia Passes. This update aims to give you information that might help you decide how much you might ski or board this year.

      1. The lift company has announced that
        1. There will be no same-day tickets for sale, only pre-purchased tickets
        2. Multi-day tickets went on sale on 15 June
        3. Day ticket sales open on 24 June
        4. Season pass holders wishing to ski from 24 June to 12 July must book a place but cannot do so until 23 June. There is an allocation set aside for season pass holders but these reservations are “limited, and are not guaranteed”.
      2. At Thredbo, when day tickets went on sale on 11 June, all school holiday dates were sold out within hours. It is impossible to predict if this would happen at Falls Creek.
      3. We are preparing to open the lodge from 13 July, with a small pilot group of existing bookings in the week prior.
      4. The committee has been working on a detailed Covid Lodge Management Plan which is a prerequisite for opening. We are awaiting some final guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services to finalise the plan. If official guidelines are eased, our plan will also be reviewed. We think out approach is cautiously optimistic and are preparing as best we can, given available information.
      5. THIS SEASON WILL BE LIKE NO OTHER. When the lodge opens, with our current understanding of the regulations, you need to assume
        1. Bookings will be capped at 20 people
        2. Access to the dining room will be restricted to ensure 1 person per 4sqm
        3. Kitchen access will be limited to short allotted times with only 6 people allowed in the kitchen at a time, for any reason. 1.5m spacing will need to be adhered to
        4. You will not be allowed to have any visitors
        5. The spa and sauna will be closed
        6. The games room sporting facilities will be unavailable. There will be restrictions on the use of the drying and ski rooms. The laundry facilities will be unavailable to guests
        7. You will need to observe social distancing and diligent hygiene and be more involved in cleaning during your stay and prior to departure
        8. You will need to agree in writing to special conditions before bookings could be confirmed. You would need to complete documents on arrival and departure
        9. You will be sent home if you or your guests, including children, do not comply with covid conditions
        10. You would be sent home if you or your guests developed any covid symptoms or if the lodge has to be closed
        11. There is still a risk that you or your guests could be infected with covid-19 
      6. When the club can open bookings there will be restrictions
        1. The only bookings accepted will be Monday to Sunday to allow for deep cleaning of the lodge as part of changeover
        2. Check-in time would be no earlier than 2pm Monday. Check-out time would be no later than 11am Sunday. Luggage could not be stored before check-in or after check-out. No return to the lodge after check-out would be permitted
        3. No unaccompanied guests
        4. No sharing of rooms between people who are not partners or do not live together
        5. The accommodation rate will be unchanged. A 6 night stay will be at the normal 7 night rate
        6. People with 2-week bookings will need to depart the lodge between 11am Sunday and 2pm Monday
      7. It is not clear what services will be available on the mountain
        1. Village shuttle and the road shuttle will not run
        2. Restrictions on lifts may mean longer queuing times than usual
        3. The number of lifts may be limited, even if snow is plentiful. (There is no guarantee yet that Eagle will operate)
        4. Food and beverage outlets will be restricted
        5. Most mountain businesses will not accept cash
        6. Ski school may be limited. No lessons for children under 6

    The committee will finalise the Covid Lodge Management Plan, advise you further about lodge operation for 2020 and open bookings for those who wish to use the lodge under these stringent conditions. The committee will continue to review the operation of the lodge as Covid restrictions change.

    Please think very carefully about whether you, your family and guests are willing to accept these risks and conditions. Please refrain from booking if you are not confident that you can enjoy your stay under these circumstances.

  • COVID-19 - from the President

    Your committee has recently met to discuss this issue and how this virus may affect the operation of the lodge, currently and over the upcoming snow season.

    At present, the lodge is open to guests with manager Andrew Rist and family in residence.

    The current Health Department guidelines dictate the following:

    • Anyone who has travelled overseas or come in close contact with someone who has travelled overseas must self- isolate for a minimum of 14 days before visiting the lodge.
    • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 must not visit the lodge.
    • All guests of the lodge must apply good hygiene practices such as washing hands frequently and maximising personal space

    There are no clear guidelines from the Department of Health on how many guests are allowed to stay in the lodge at one time, however maximising personal space may require the committee to restrict the number of guests staying at the lodge and the sharing of rooms. We will have further to say on this once further official guidance is received.

    The last thing the committee wants is for members and guests to come to the lodge if they shouldn’t be there or if they feel uncomfortable being there. As such the committee has decided to offer a full refund for all accommodation which is cancelled for COVID-19 related reasons. This does not imply that members can make bookings without a real intent to stay and then cancel at the last minute. This would be a costly for the club in a year where our finances will be stretched already.

    As you know Department of Health guidelines are evolving and we will need to change our practices in line with them. We will update you with changes as they occur.

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we have a good season and as many of us as possible get to enjoy it.

    Nigel Cowie


  • COVID-19 Update (11 May)

    On Monday the Victorian State Government released details on some relaxation to the Covid 19 restrictions. Unfortunately there was no information related to the up coming ski season except to say that staying at our lodge is still not permitted. We understand that the new restrictions announced today will stay in place for another three weeks.

    The Victorian Chief Health Officer later commented on radio that the return of the ski season is being worked through. Unfortunately he went on to say that when ski resorts reopened, any sort of group accommodation would be out of the question. It is not clear if that applied to initial opening or the whole season.

    We therefore wait for further news from the State Government and Falls Creek Resort Management as to if and when the season will commence and whether lodges can operate.

    Your committee is currently considering various options on how the lodge may operate should we be allowed to open. This includes limits on how many people can stay at the lodge at one time, cleaning procedures, protection of our managers and visitors, and overall compliance with regulations etc. Although we have not been able to have a working bee this year the lodge has plenty of fire wood and we hope to be able to open in some form as soon as we get the green light.

    Until then we will have to wait and be patient.


    Nigel Cowie

  • Covid-19 Update 24 May

    This week there have been some announcements of interest to frequent visitors to Falls Creek. You will soon need to decide whether to seek refunds on season passes.

    The lift company have announced that the final payment for season passes will not be deducted on 1 June as scheduled. Instead they will make further announcements by 15 June. They expect to offer different passes that are more appropriate for the covid-19 affected season. You can choose to purchase a new pass or get a full refund on the Epic Australia Pass. (Reading between the lines suggests that the normal Epic Australia Pass won’t be available.) Details at https://www.epicaustraliapass.com.au/epic-australia-now/86-2020-eap-update

    Resort Management had deferred the final payment of resort entry passes until 3 June. They now say they will not process the payments until it is clearer when the season can start. They have announced a refund policy whereby you can apply for a refund or credit to 2021 by 10 June. This will only be actioned if the government has not allowed the season to begin on 6 June. Details at https://www.fallscreek.com.au/resortentry/2020-refund-policy . STOP PRESS: The season will officially start on 22 June but no accommodation with communal facilities can operate then. If the resort management refund policy remains unchanged we will not have the option of a refund. We can only hope that this is reviewed.

    Queensland has said that it is unlikely to relax interstate quarantine restrictions till at least September. WA, SA and Tasmania have not announced any relaxation of their border restrictions.

    The committee is monitoring information available from government, resort management and industry bodies. Unfortunately it is still very unclear if, when and how the lodge can operate. We are however very focused on finding some way that the lodge can operate safely and legally this year. Nothing can be decided yet but we are sharing some possible scenarios with you to help you make decisions on season passes. This list is not exhaustive, nor have any decisions been made about changed conditions.

    • The lodge is very unlikely to open before July, at best. We guess that August is more likely but not assured
    • The number of people able to stay at any one time is likely to be reduced significantly
    • Some rationing of lodge stays may be necessary
    • The lodge may need to be completely closed for 1 or more days a week for thorough cleaning. This could restrict the types of bookings available
    • Entry to kitchen and dining room may have to be rostered (with time limits on meal preparations). Other common areas may also need to have restrictions. You may need to spend significant time in your room
    • Table sitting may have to be pre-allocated for the duration of stays and continually sanitised by members
    • The spa and sauna may not operate. Neither may the games and TV rooms nor the spare toilet and shower
    • You may be required to sign legal documents before, during and/or after your stay
    • If there is a suspected infection at the lodge, you could have to depart immediately.
    • Strict enforcement of mandated covid-19 rules and related club procedures, with termination of stays for non compliance
    • Even with diligent compliance, the risk of infection at a ski resort or ski lodge cannot be eliminated
    • It is possible that lift operations and other services may also be limited

    We very much hope that drastic measures are not required. Before deciding whether to seek season pass refunds, you should, however, consider whether you would make enough use of the passes if some of these scenarios played out.
    The committee very much regrets that we cannot give you more definite guidance. We will continue to monitor the relevant announcements and refine plans to match the unfolding situation and communicate these with you.