Dinner Plain and Falls Creek still open to regional visitors this season

ALL SMILES: Falls Creek Alpine Resort is set to continue its tobogganing and cross country skiing despite the suspension of lifting operations due to COVID-19.
ALL SMILES: Falls Creek Alpine Resort is set to continue its tobogganing and cross country skiing despite the suspension of lifting operations due to COVID-19.

There's still hope for regional skiers this snow season with Falls Creek and Dinner Plain to remain open.

Dinner Plain Alpine Village will continue its winter operations as planned, while the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board has committed to continuing a range of activities throughout the period up until August 19.

It follows equipment owner Vail Resorts decision to suspend lift operations at Falls Creek and Mount Hotham due to fears of the rising COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement came as a blow to local businesses who would have been heading into their busiest time of the year.

Tobogganing and general snow play will be available at Falls Creek's Windy Corner Toboggan slope, while cross country skiing is still offered at both sites.

COLD BLAST: Cross Country skiing is set to become more popular at Dinner Plain this snow season with downhill not available. Picture: NATHAN FENTON

COLD BLAST: Cross Country skiing is set to become more popular at Dinner Plain this snow season with downhill not available. Picture: NATHAN FENTON

Dinner Plain, located just beyond Mount Hotham, will also provide snowmaking at its tobogganing slope.

The decision has been backed by the Alpine Shire Council to aid the region's businesses and staff.

"Winter is a vitally important time for Dinner Plain and its local businesses," Alpine Shire Council's assets director William Jeremy said.

"Melbournians are not able to travel here for six weeks, but to scale things back would be doing a disservice to our operators who are staffed and ready to service a population of regional Victorians who enjoy a holiday at the snow just as much as those in the city.

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"Our cross country trails are a big part of the appeal of Dinner Plain.

"We have a 35 kilometre network of trails that wind around the village and even extend the whole way to Mount Hotham, which is a real highlight for a lot of visitors to the region.

"With downhill skiing not operating in the near future, we expect a lot of alpine skiers this season to transition to cross country.

"There hasn't been a great deal of natural snow to get things at full capacity, but once the snowfall comes, the crews will be grooming as much of this trail network as possible to make sure there are loads of options for our visitors."

Government COVID-19 restrictions and measures will be in force.

This story Cross country set to become the new downhill this snow season first appeared on The Border Mail.