Thredbo Gets a Gondy
Posted on Friday, 18th of October 2019
It is happening as I type. Thredbo gets a Gondola and if you aren’t a snowsports fan and are having visions of an Italian in funny hat punting people across Friday Flat pond in a boat….catch up! For 2 years there has been discussion about replacing the old Merritts Chairlift in Thredbo with a new 8 seat Gondola lift…and the talk is finally over. Jack hammers are out, the coach carpark at Friday Flat is full of shrink wrapped Gondola cabins and the crew are into it.
If you are wondering why Thredbo is so keen to spend $15 million replacing the old Merritts Chair instead of perhaps upgrading Snowgums Chair, you need to peel back some layers This new lift will serve several useful functions and should help to transform the way people move around Thredbo.
The lift will start at The Valley Terminal lift area in front of the village and follow the old lift line with a mid station behind the top of the Friday Flat near High Noon. This will make getting from the village to Friday Flat easy with no waiting for buses. This mid station will also provide uphill loading for people skiing down on the Dream Run from Merritts Spur as the lift will continue up and arrive around the current top station near the Merritts Restaurant.
As part of the development Thredbo will install snow making and carry our trail upgrades to the hitherto erroneously named “Dream Run” With a wider bridge over the creek and snow making Dream Run will become a whole lot more dreamy. In this location the Gondola will provide a true all-weather lift opening up more options for those windy winter days including some of the resorts best tree skiing. It will also offer easy, bus free transfers between Friday Flat and the village in either direction.
So this developement is already sounding like great idea and we haven’t even mentioned the summer season. This is where things get really interesting. The next phase of development for this new lift is the serious potential for a new intermediate mountain bike park on the Cruiser Chair. With the opening last summer of Thredbo’s first “easy” level gravity mountain bike track called “Easy Street” the proof is in the pounding this new track took. It was a big hit, and has convinced Thredbo to invest in more tracks catering to the newbies to downhill bike riding.
The Merritts Spur area has ideal terrain for this type of riding and with the new Gondola it will be easy to access the spur from the Village or from Friday Flat. The planning for this park is underway and with more plans to redevelop the Restaurant at Merritts, another summer time use for the lift would be to access a very special outdoor performance space for summer season festivals and special events.
Thredbo’s new Gondola will be a revelation for the resort in winter and summer and from what I hear, it is only the first of several planned infrastructure developements that will help Thredbo to deliver world class Alpine Action year round. Stay tuned.
Oh and by the way…If you are keen for Winter 2020 in Thredbo you can save money and book at 2019 rates until November 1st
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