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Perfect snow conditions ruined by lockdown, alpine businesses fear the worst

Wednesday July 21, 2021 - 06:53 AEST
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Alpine business owners say the conditions are perfect on the snowfields. - ABC

Victoria's alpine resorts are being described as "postcard material" thanks to the snow†blanketing region,†but with state in lockdown†no-one is around to enjoy it.


Diana Alpine Lodge manager Lisa Logan said the perfect conditions were a slap in the face for operators.


"It's ironic," she said.


"It pretty much started [snowing] from the moment†[the lockdown] was announced."


"We've gone from worrying about if we'll have enough snow to keep the mountain open to worrying about when the mountain will open again, because we've got a lot of snow."


The few people who arrived before the restrictions were imposed are still on the mountain, but businesses†that were only able to operate for four days last season are losing hope.


"It comes down to how we can survive with another year like this," Ms Logan said.


'Quite diabolical'


Before the restrictions came in visits to alpine resorts had†doubled on the 10-year average.


"We were actually seeing the highest level of visitation ever for the resort in the last few weeks," Ms Logan said.


"I think there was an extremely high level of optimism and hope that we could recover comfortably after last year.


"This will just be quite diabolical for a number of people who do have a lot on the line.


"This is people's lives and livelihood."


Glass half full


But Peter McKenna, the owner of Dinner Plains's Alphutte restaurant, is remaining optimistic.


"It's been a very good start for us in hospitality," he said.


"We're open, there was plenty of trade ? everyone was optimistic and smiling.


"We are ready."


Mr McKenna is clinging to the hope that regional Victoria might get out of lockdown earlier than the rest of the state, despite the fact that a third of close contacts are†isolating in regional communities.


"We're not happy about this week," he said.


"Nobody is, but we've just got to work our way through it ? hopefully we'll be back booming.


"We were hoping that by the end of this season we would have recouped losses to carry them forward but we're hoping we're still in a position to say we're still here," he said.


Support still not enough


The Victorian government has announced that alpine businesses that were eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an additional $3,000.


Ms Logan said that was not enough.


"It costs me around $3,000 a day just to stay open," she said.††


"We've had numerous announcements about support ? but we're still waiting.


"We need a lot more than what's being given and we keep being promised things that aren't being delivered."







- ABC

© ABC 2021

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