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What about the blog?

We are retiring the blog as a separate way of communicating with members. Old news can still be be found at aacfallscreek.blogspot.com

The lodge is closed until further notice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 23/3/2020

In line with today’s State and Federal Government announcements, regarding the closure of many non essential businesses and restrictions on non essential travel, the committee has decided to close the lodge to members and guests from today until further notice.

Andrew Rist and his family expect to remain in residence during the period that the lodge is closed, however long that may be.

As stated in my previous COVID-19 update, full refunds will be given to all members and guests who have paid for accommodation this season.

We will keep you informed of any changes as they occur.

Nigel Cowie
President

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

President

Club Communications - can you help?

q Do you love AAC Falls Creek and Falls Creek?

q Do you like writing and sharing interesting and important information & photos?

q Are you familiar with Facebook and Instagram or willing to learn?

q Are you happy to learn (easy) new web-based applications for creating and sharing content (like this article and newsletter)?

q Would you like to contribute to the overall running of the club through membership of the committee?

Then we would love to hear from you.

We are looking for someone to take on the committee role of Communications Officer. IT background would be great but not essential. It's more important to be enthusiastic about communicating with members and reasonably comfortable with using technology. There is support for anything complicated.

Find out more from our Secretary, Jenny or President, Nigel

 


 To be clear: this is a volunteer position

Waitlisted bookings - early approval of some requests

At the 2019 AGM members requested that the committee consider whether waitlist requests could be approved earlier than strict application of the booking rules would require. In particular members hoped that this could be done where there was little or no chance of a 7 day booking being made that would clash with a weekend request.

The committe looked for a way to give as much booking certainty as possible to members, balanced against preserving booking priority for members and for standard 7 and 5 day bookings.

In 2020 we will trial early approval of eligible waitlist bookings. Eligible waitlist requests will be approved from 1 June, where eligible means

  • only members, spouse and their children, and
  • the preceding midweek is full, and
  • the booking is paid for immediately on request from the booking officer. 

If you use the wailtlist system, please let us know at the end of the season whether this has been helpful.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 7pm Tuesday 26 May at Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

The committee will monitor the advice of health authorities and other government bodies on holding such meetings. Don't be surprised if arrangements change.

Work Party

Normally we would be inviting members to join in the work party to help with numerous tasks to get the lodge in top shape for the ski season.

Given the uncertainty with Covid-19, we are not seeking any more helpers at this stage. Depending on the circumstances, official and personal, closer to the time, the work party may be reduced in scope or cancelled.

Minimum fee waived till the end of MTB season

 FC entry crop2048

Usually in summer the club needs to apply a minimum fee of $300 to cover the costs of opening and closing the lodge. This can be an obstacle for small groups wanting short stays. For the last few years we have waived the fee at popular times to encourage members and guests to enjoy Falls Creek in "green" season.

Unfortunately some of the minimum fee free opportunities were lost due to the bushfires. To make up for this, no minimum fees will apply for the rest of the green season (to end April 2020). Mountain bike shuttles run every weekend till 26 April, or ride the trails anytime under your own steam. Autumn walking and fishing are great or just explore the High Plains or tour the valleys below with an #EmptyEsky.

The fires did not touch the resort or mountain bike trails. The road across the Bogong High Plains is open all the way to the Omeo Highway and many tracks have reopened. (Some further parts of the Bogong High Plains closed see https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/media-releases/park-and-forest-closures for details)

 #RollonBack to the high country and have a great stay at AAC Falls Creek

Booking System - What's New

We've made a few changes to how bookings work this year, reflecting changes in booking demand and also to improve how the system works

Victorian June/July School Holidays

  • There are no longer special conditions for Victioran June/July school holidays. Book for this period as you would for any other winter period

Waitlisting

  • The waitlist facility has been very popular with members wishing to make weekend bookings. We want to make this even more effective by eliminating wasted opportunities for short bookings.
  • Waitlisting requests for bookings weekends and other non-standard bookings can be submitted after 18 March.
  • Occasionally people made waitlist requests but did not require them when the time came to approve the booking. By the time it was clear that the booking was not required, it was sometimes too late for someone else to take up the opportunity.
  • Now, if you make a waitlist request, you will be sent an email approx 1 week before the opening date for the booking. You will be asked to confirm within 2 days that you still want it. If you do not respond promptly, the waitlist request will lapse. 
  • Once approved, immediate payment for the booking is required or it will lapse. 
  • See the full waitlist policy

Payment must be made promptly

  • Some members have been quite slow to pay for bookings. In some cases bookings were cancelled very late, having never been paid for. 
  • The booking officer will now cancel bookings not paid for in the appropriate time. This is within 7 days for normal bookings and 1 day for approved waitlist requests.

Late season discount

  • Stay at the lodge from Fri 25 September to end of season (Victorian September/OctoberSchool Holidays) for a special low rate, approx 17% lower than winter off-peak rates.

Booking into other AAC lodges

  • You can now logon on to Anton and Dinner Plain booking systems using your AAC Falls Creek logon credentials. Hopefully Perisher will join in soon.

Tighter enforcement of booking priority

  • The long-standing booking rules state that only bookings for members open on 1 February. Bookings for family of members must wait till 8 March and other guests till 15 March. Bookings for members of other AAC lodges open on 1 March. 
  • To improve the enforcement of this rule, on any night a member can only be booked into one bed in their own name.
  • You can use the comment section of a booking to tell the booking officer if you intend booking for others as well.

Room 7

  • At the time of writing, we are hoping to convert Room 7 to a twin, like room 12. The bushfires affected building schedules and it is not yet clear if the conversion can be done this summer. In the meantime, Room 7 is shown as a twin in the booking system to avoid the risk of overbooking.

Documents 

  • The booking information sheet has been replaced by web-based information. You can read this online or download it as a PDF, or just download selected sections. The Falls Creek specific information is also provided at aacfallscreek.com/book.html .
  • The booking system user guide is being updated to reflect these changes. This may not be complete by opening of bookings

Summer Cleaning

Unfortunately sometimes our summer visitors do not pay sufficient attention to cleaning.

While Andrew & Myra clean meticulously in ski season, managers are not required to clean in summer. We rely on members and guests to leave the lodge in a clean and tidy condition.

The committee has decided to emphasise the need to clean thorougthly and to introduce a fee if this has been negleected.

So to clear what is expected in "green season":

  • You must clean your room and ensuite before departure.
  • You must also cooperate with other guests to clean the kitchen and all common areas used.
  • Cleaning must be to at least the standard that you would hope for when coming into accommodation.
  • Cleaning kits with cloths and chemicals should be collected from the laundry and returned there later.
  • Failure to adequately clean may result in a cleaning fee of up to $200 per room.

 (This does not apply to Peaks Challenge weekend, when cleaning services are provided by the manager)

Early Bird Resort Entry Season Passes still available

With bushfires effecting both staff and mountain lovers, the closing date for early bird passes has been extended.

Make an initial payment of $99 by 12 February and the balance of $276 on 18 March for a total of $375.

See details