The committee has reached a decision to open bookings for Waragun lodge prior to when Thredbo opens their online ticket sales later this week. We will make a decision regarding if and when to open bookings for Kyilla and Tiobunga once Perisher has released more information about their plans for this season, which they have advised that they will do by 15 June.
This has been a very difficult decision to reach and one that has taken, and will continue to take, an enormous amount of planning. We are aware of several other clubs and several commercial accommodation providers that have taken decisions not to open this year. The health authorities have assessed lodges such as ours as high risk environments. Under Victorian government restrictions at this time, accommodation such as ours that has shared facilities including kitchens and bathrooms cannot operate. This regulation does not apply in NSW.
Before I tell you when bookings open, I need to tell you a number of important points about bookings and lodge operations for this winter. We have not yet finalised our plans for lodge operations including our COVIDSafe plan. These must be finalised and published before we can open. It is possible that we will discover something as we finalise these plans that causes us to need to cancel all bookings. The plans are coming together and will include most or all of the following features. Please read through these carefully and consider how they will impact on your enjoyment of your holiday, before you make a booking.
- We expect to open the lodges on Sunday 28 June.
- We expect to run with peak season rates until Saturday 26 September, then shoulder season rates for the following week until the Labour Day weekend. Accommodation rates will be unchanged from last year.
- The lodges will run at about 50% capacity in Waragun and Tiobunga, and slightly below 50% capacity in Kyilla. This is consistent with 50% capacity announced by Thredbo and several other clubs and commercial accommodation providers.
- When bookings open this week, both Tiobunga and Kyilla will be blocked out. Beds will be available in Waragun only.
- All bookings will be for 6 day blocks starting on Sunday and ending Saturday.
- There will be no weekend bookings.
- There will be no ad-hoc midweek night bookings.
- The club will operate booking rounds similar to previous years.
- R1 opening this week for Waragun will allow members to book a single 6 night stay.
- Full details of all rounds will be published in the Booking Rules very soon.
- The club will send a questionnaire to everyone booked about a week prior to their booking, asking questions about their health and understanding of lodge operations. If you are unable to answer with the appropriate answer for 100% of the questions, you will be required to cancel your booking.
- You will be required to plan to arrive at the lodge between noon and 4 pm on the Sunday that your booking starts.
- There will be a health check on arrival at the lodge. Should you fail the health check, you and everyone who travelled with you will not be allowed to enter the lodge and will be required to leave.
- Should you develop symptoms of COVID-19 during your stay, you will be required to leave the lodge and submit to a COVID-19 test.
- Should you develop symptoms of COVID-19 within 48 hours of leaving the lodge and test positive, you will be required to inform the club.
- Should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the lodge or within 48 hours of leaving, the lodge will be closed and all people in the lodge will be required to leave, self-isolate and have a COVID-19 test. This is likely to result in the lodge remaining closed for the following week, in which case all people booked for that week will have their bookings cancelled.
- Should restrictions tighten and require the club to reduce lodge occupancy then the club may call on members to cancel voluntarily and if necessary will cancel the last bookings made.
- To encourage members not to visit the lodges with any symptoms, the club will provide refunds of 90% of the unused portions of any bookings that are affected by cancellations as described above.
- The club will not accept claims for any consequential costs associated with cancellations, for example lift tickets or alternative accommodation.
- Meal preparation times will be rostered and limited to 15 minutes to ensure that every group has exclusive use of the kitchen. This means you will likely need to bring frozen meals that can be heated in the microwave oven. There will be no pantry items provided.
- In addition to linen and towels that you always bring, you will be required to bring your own pillow and doona.
- Many items usually in the lodges will be put away to reduce cleaning and touching, for example cushions, games, magazines, candles, water jugs, etc.
- We have not yet decided whether the drying room can operate in all lodges. You are likely to need to dry at least some of your outside gear in your room (at least hats, helmets, goggles, gloves) and you may have no access to the drying room.
- Guests will be required to contribute to lodge cleaning to a far greater level than in previous years.
- You will need to sanitise your room on arrival, wiping common touch surfaces (taps, door handles, light switches, window winders, etc) with sanitising products.
- You will need to do a comprehensive clean prior to departure, cleaning all touch surfaces and other areas with cleaning agents.
- You will need to sanitise common touch surfaces throughout the lodge at least daily.
- Your party may be allocated a section of the lounge room for the duration of your stay. You should not cross into other sections and you will be required to do a very thorough clean of your section before departure.
The committee will be reviewing the effectiveness of these measures as well as monitoring developments with restrictions and requirements imposed from outside. These measures may be relaxed or tightened at any time.
Now that you have read all of this and considered the impact on your enjoyment to your ski holiday, and assessed the potential health and financial risks that your booking will entail for you and your family, you may be reconsidering whether you wish to stay in the club’s lodges this year. We recognise unfortunately this may mean that if you are very keen to travel to the mountains but don’t wish to experience the restrictions in the club’s lodges this year, then you might wish to consider alternative accommodation choices.
On the other hand if you have got this far and still wish to book into Waragun then you will want to know that bookings will open at 8 pm on Wednesday 10 June. This will give you the opportunity to secure your accommodation before you buy your lift tickets. Both Kyilla and Tiobunga will have all beds block booked to make them unavailable. The club will advise you if and when bookings in the Guthega lodges will become available.
Again, to avoid any doubt, before you book please:
- Read all the points above again and consider how they will impact your enjoyment of your holiday.
- Read the information on Thredbo’s website and understand their ticketing policies.
- Understand that your booking may have to be cancelled by the club or by you due to COVID-19. In this case you will receive a 90% refund. The club will not reimburse consequential costs such as lift tickets or alternative accommodation.
- Understand that cancellation for any other reason is subject to the club’s normal cancellation policies. This includes inability to buy lift tickets to match your accommodation booking.
It is very clear that the experience of staying in our lodges this year will be very different from what we are used to in some rather uncomfortable ways. This is a very unfortunate consequence of how we are required to plan and operate in the shadow of COVID-19. We hope that circumstances will allow us to relax some of these changes as the season develops but we recognise the possibility that we will have to tighten further.
We appreciate your understanding and patience.
Brindabella Ski Club