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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

Thank You Nigel!

An enormous thank you to Nigel Cowie who advised he was standing down as President of the Club at the AAC AGM which was held on August 25.

Nigel has dedicated many years of personal time and effort to the Club, having joined the Committee in 2008 where he began his tenure as Lodge Supervisor and was instrumental in the Lodge renovation project. Nigel was then elected Chairman in 2012 and has held that role ever since. Nigel is also a representative on the AAC National Council, and he will continue this role going forward.

Nigel, from the Committee and Club Members, we would like to thank you for your commitment to the Club, your leadership as president and of course the support of Fiona and the rest of the family. We look forward to seeing you and the family at the Lodge for many years to come.

THANK YOU!

2021 Early Bird Epic Pass

2021 Epic Pass ‘Lowest Price’ Sale Ends September 29!

We all know Season 2020 didn’t go the way we wanted for Falls Creek. Very little snow when we needed it and COVID-19 restrictions meant we needed to stay home.

With season 2020 over, it’s time to look forward to season 2021! September 29 marks the last day of the ‘lowest price’ discounted Epic Australia pass, so if you’re looking to buy a season pass for 2021 make sure you visit Epic Australia’s website to lock in the cheapest price.
https://www.epicaustraliapass.com.au/epic-australia-pass

Open Position: AAC Falls Creek Lodge Manager

White On Blue Landscape Header

 

Australian Alpine Club (AAC) Falls Creek is seeking a Lodge Manager for 2021-2022. Our previous Lodge Managers, after 10 years, have decided to pursue the next chapter of their life on the mountain.

AAC Falls Creek is a well-appointed family friendly Club Lodge. The successful candidate will be enthusiastic and experienced in housekeeping, cooking and customer service. Ideally the successful candidate will take up residence at the Lodge in summer as well as winter. We are aiming to increase use of the lodge in “green” season, however it should be noted that most summer guests are expected to be self-sufficient.

If you are interested in this demanding yet rewarding role, please contact our Lodge Supervisor at https://aacfallscreek.com/contact-us/7-lodge-supervisor.html for an application form and more information, by 12th October 2020.

Interviews will be held in late October 2020.

Thank You Andrew and Myra!

They say that all good things must come to an end and for AAC Falls Creek, it is true. Andrew and Myra are moving on after ten amazing years as our Lodge Managers.

For many of us it will be hard to believe it’s been ten years, but it’s true. I’m sure for Andrew and Myra, all those early mornings, all the bed-making and all the cleaning makes it feel well and truly like ten years!

With Andrew and Myra being Lodge Managers for so long, we all got to know them (along with Reeve, Deb and Russell) pretty well, so we couldn’t let them move on without a few of our strongest memories being mentioned.

First up has to be Andrew’s shorts, right? When you see someone flying down the Summit in shorts, you know immediately who it is. When someone on the lift next to you says, “who’s that idiot wearing shorts when it’s minus 2 degrees”, you proudly turn to them say, “That’s Andrew our Lodge Manager, and if you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it!!”. What you might not know is that Andrew even made his own personal tool belt to suit his shorts! No overalls here, he was often seen skating from job to job on the mountain, with hammers, chisels, tape measure and screwdrivers all clinking and clunking away getting as he made his way around the village. 

Next thing about Andrew is his cleaning. Man can the guy clean! Not satisfied with even the most fastidious cleaning by us members, or even Myra or Deb, Andrew just HAD to re-clean the same area to ensure it was “Risty Clean”! And we can’t not mention Andrew’s personal transport machine during snow season, the Axtrack. What I bet you didn’t know is that he bought it for the price of a pot of beer! I’ve heard of “buy me a drink and I’ll love you forever”, but I’ve never heard of “buy me a drink and you can have my Axtrack!”  

And now on to Myra. No Myra you don’t get off that easily! We all love how comfortable Myra is in the lodge and wearing her PJ’s in the dining room showed just how comfortable Myra was around us all. Did you know that the year that Myra was pregnant, we hardly saw her? Everyone was asking “where’s Myra” and of course Andrew said nothing. It wasn’t until the committee meeting in September that Myra let on that she was pregnant and the reason why she wasn’t being seen was because the poor thing was suffering so badly with morning sickness! But it was all worth it, with the little bundle of joy that you both produced, and in doing so providing so much entertainment for members who got to play with Reeve whilst staying at the Lodge.

One thing we did notice, Myra, was the VIP treatment we all seemed to get once we made it known to the oversnow guys that we were from AAC! Once you made it clear you were going to “Myra’s place” it was like magic, you would be plucked out of the queue, brought to the front and be put onto the first available oversnow! I’m going to miss that! The other thing we’ll miss, Myra, is the annual Jam run where you and Deb would deliver abundant jars of every which flavour of jam you ever wanted. Yum! 

The key memory I think everyone has from Andrew and Myra’s tenure is just how much they made you feel at home. If you didn’t know how something worked, they would take you through it. Wanted some advice on where to eat out? No problem. Couldn’t get the TV to work because the snow had covered the Foxtel satellite dish? No problem, Andrew would clear the snow (yes, in his shorts) and the footy match coverage would come back on. Disaster averted. And race night dinners – they were always something to look forward to, no matter how bad your time down the course!

And it’s not just AAC where Andrew and Myra have left their mark, they are well known around the mountain for chipping in and helping out others. Whether it’s putting on wood fired pizza nights, or attending SES call outs, they’re the first to help. Andrew, Myra and Reeve will continue to reside at the Lodge for the immediate future, keeping an eye on things and continuing to chip in on the mountain as they always do.

So, from all AAC Falls Creek Members and our Guests, we want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to Andrew and Myra. We wish you all the very best in the next chapter of your lives and we hope to see you both, along with Reeve and Deb and Russell at the Club in 2021 and beyond.

THANK YOU!

Andrew and Myra

Andrew Shorts

IMG 9384

Myra PJ

IMG 0925

Axtrack

 

Notice of 2020 Annual General Meeting

Notice is given that the 2020 Annual General Meeting of AAC Falls Creek Inc will be held:

DATE: Tuesday, 25 August, 2020
VENUE: via Zoom videoconference
TIME: 7:30 pm - Annual General Meeting to commence

RSVP by 20 August 2020 is essential

AGENDA

  1. Apologies
  2. Receive and adopt the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting
  3. Business arising from the Minutes
  4. Correspondence
  5. Receive and adopt the Committee's Reports
  6. Receive and adopt the Profit And Loss Account and Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2019
  7. Proposed New Annual Subscription for 2020
  8. Receive and adopt the Auditor's Report
  9. Appoint an Auditor for 2020
  10. Election of the Committee
  11. A.A.C. Business
  12. General Business
    1. Bushfires
    2. Covid-19
    3. Life Members

Preparation and conduct of the meeting

  • COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne will not allow a normal AGM to be held by the current deadline. Instead, attendance will be via Zoom videoconference only. This will create some challenges but the committee thinks that these are manageable. Various snowsports clubs and other associations report success with this approach.
  • To be admitted to the meeting you must RSVP by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 7pm Thursday 20th August. Prior to the AGM you will be sent a link to join the meeting.
  • The meeting will be kept as succinct as possible. We also need to make voting as uncomplicated as possible, while ensuring that it is done faithfully.
  • Therefore all nominations, proxies, items of general business must be submitted to the Treasurer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 7pm Thursday 20th August. Any proposed Motions must also be provided to the Treasurer by this date.
  • You are strongly encouraged to send any questions to the Treasurer by the same date. There will be an opportunity to submit some questions on the night but questions with notice will be more manageable with the technology. (Questions on the night will be via SMS or Zoom chat.)
  • If you will be attending the meeting, please prepare in advance. Install Zoom on your computer, tablet or phone and use Zoom’s facilities to test that your audio and video are working. If you have a headset with microphone, please use it to reduce background noise.
  • Please keep your mic muted during the meeting unless the chairman recognises you to speak. The chairman or his assistant may mute you if necessary. We prefer having all cameras active during the meeting but you may be asked to “mute” cameras if there are difficulties.
  • Voting may be a bit laborious. Please be patient if votes need to be counted.

Motions to be voted on

  • That the committee reports be accepted
  • That the meeting accept the Financial Statements as recommended by the committee
  • That the adult annual subscription rate remain at $370
  • That the meeting accept the Auditor’s Report
  • That E F McPhail and Partners be appointed as auditor until the next AGM
    (our current auditor John Watty will be operating under this name)
  • That 4 ordinary committee members are required for the coming year, in addition to the 3 executive members

Election of committee members

The committee recommends that a total of 7 committee members be elected (3 executive members plus 4 ordinary committee members). At the previous meeting 9 were elected but the committee believe that the roles can be consolidated this year. At the committee meeting after the AGM, the committee elects members to specific positions. At the time of this notice, Nigel Cowie and Tony Ryder intend retiring. All other current members are intending to stand again.

Documents

Jenny Hughes (Secretary)
C/- ProAcct Advisors & Accountants Pty Ltd
PO Box 140 BALWYN VIC 3103
Phone: (03) 9880-9600
Fax: (03) 9880-9699
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lodge Closure For Remainder Of Winter 2020

Despite all our best hopes, the recent escalation of the Melbourne and Victorian COVID-19 restrictions, and the decision by the Lift Company not to re-commence operations has prompted the Committee to make the decision to keep the Lodge closed for the remainder of the Winter 2020 Season.

The announcement from the Lift Company released yesterday advised that “Vail Resorts today announced it will not reopen its lift operations at Falls Creek and Hotham for Spring skiing following the Victorian Government announcement of Stage 4 restrictions for Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria for six weeks, amidst continuing challenges associated with the spread of COVID-19”.

Naturally this was very disappointing news indeed as we had all hoped that both the snow conditions and the COVID-19 situation would have improved to a point where the 2020 season could recommence in late August and then into September. Alas, it isn’t to be.

Anyone with bookings for the remainder of the Winter season will have their booking cancelled and a full refund provided.

Exactly when the Lodge can open again remains a work in progress and is dependent on many COVID-19 related variables. Rest assured, we are all working to open the Lodge as soon as it is both safe and practical to do so and will continue to update members accordingly.

Please continue to stay safe and well.

COVID-19: A Power Of Work To Get Ready

Everything was heading in the right direction. The snow had finally come, the lifts started to turn, restrictions were being relaxed around Australia, and AAC Falls Creek was all set to open its doors. And then the news came that Melbourne metro was back into lockdown for 6 weeks and the Lift Company made the decision to cease operations for the next six weeks. We got so close!


The amount of work done to get the lodge ready for opening in a COVID-19 environment was colossal. It took endless hours of after-hours work by Committee Members John Burnett, Jenny Hughes and Justin Checcucci. With John and Jenny taking the lead on the Safe Operating Plan, it meant having to keep up with a myriad of organisations and guidelines, including the Federal Department of Health, Victorian DHHS, DELWP, Hospitality Industry guidelines, Tourism Industry guidelines, Safe work Australia, FCRM, FCAA, and ARIAG. Together they worked tirelessly to get us open for season 2020. The Safe Operating Plan attracted praise from FCRM management and JB and Justin also visited the lodge one weekend to physically prepare the lodge with COVID-19 signage and work with Andrew and Myra to re-arrange our common areas to ensure social distancing measures could be met (JB and Justin even found the time to fit the new pot rail in the kitchen, see image beow).

COVID Front Door Jul 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Pot Rail Jul 2020

And we can’t forget our Lodge Managers Andrew and Myra, too. Both were intimately involved in getting to grips with all the new sanitisation measures that were going to be required, all the while having to deal with the uncertainty of whether the season was going to go ahead.

So where to from here? As Nigel advised in his COVID-19 update on Friday 10th July, with the lifts no longer operational the AAC Falls Creek Lodge is closed until at least August 19. Anyone with bookings during this time will have their booking cancelled and a full refund provided. A big shout out to Alan Long, who has been working hard to keep up with everyone’s bookings, cancellations and refunds.

Hopefully, the snow keeps falling, restrictions are lifted, the Lift Company recommences operations, and we can enjoy some skiing and boarding during the back end of August and into September. One thing’s for sure, if we can open in six weeks’ time, we have the right people, processes and knowledge to ensure we meet all COVID-19 requirements.

Until then, please stay safe, look after your loved ones and keep an eye on the AAC Falls Creek website, Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest updates.

From the President - Covid Update 10 July

Most of you will have read that Vail Resorts have decided to close all lift operations at Falls Creek until August 19 due to Victorian Government Covid 19 restrictions.

It is with regret that we will now close the lodge until that date. When we are closer to that date we will be able to reassess whether we reopen the lodge or not for the remainder of the season. There is a good chance the lifts will not reopen but of course in these times anything can happen.

This is particularly disappointing for the committee as we had put so much work into preparing the lodge for the opening on July 6. In particular I would like to thanks John Burnett and Jenny Hughes who spent long hours and days producing a Covid 19 plan for the operation of the lodge. It was presented to Falls Creek Resort Management for review at which CEO Stuart Smyth remarked on its professionalism and detail. The photos below show some of the signage and preparation that was made.

signs

 

more signs

Until we get closer to August 19 and we talk again, I wish that you and your families stay safe under Covid 19 restrictions.


Nigel Cowie
President

What's happening about the AGM

We were about to confirm that the AGM would go ahead on 25 August at the usual venue. However the new restrictions mean that we will reassess that. The proposed date is less than a week from the date that Stage 3 restrictions are scheduled to ease. There is no guarantee that we can hold an in-person meeting then. We may either defer again, subject to what the regulator allows, or organise a video conference AGM. 

The annual reports were provided previously. If you would like to discuss any matters ahead of the AGM, please contact the relevant committee member/s.

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.