10 January 2012

full steam ahead on lodge redevelopment

Work is well under way on the lodge redevelopment.
  • Scaffolding is complete and very complex due to our "interesting" building shape and steep site. Took 7 days to erect! 

  • Some cladding is complete on the southern and western walls - looks great. 

  • The roof will be replaced last as the builders are using it for access.
  • The latest design of the balcony floor is very good and should eliminate previous problems with leaking to the entry stairs below.
  • The original bedrooms had no wall insulation at all so we are going to see a great improvement with the super thick insulation bats that are going in as part of this project.
  • The new windows have already been installed in most of the bedrooms. The frames are metal on the outside, wood on the inside. The double glazing will meet new bushfire regulations and improve insulation.
  • The bench cushions in the lounge will be replaced with new leather cushions. A slight change in the cushion design should allow the base cushions to be a little wider/deeper and more comfortable.
  • We are taking the opportunity to run new cables for Internet and TV while the cladding is off.

Overall the building works are going great. The project is on budget and on schedule to be ready ahead of the snow season. Members should be very happy with the results.

Thanks to the building sub-committee, especially Nigel Cowie, for their on-going commitment to this project.

more pics

Finance update

Members would no doubt be aware that the Club raised funds from the membership in 2010/2011 by way of a capital raising.
This enabled the Club to borrow significantly less that was originally forecast in the early planning of the lodge redevelopment.
The Club has entered into a loan agreement with Bendigo Bank for the provision of up to $300,000 to assist with the completion of the project.
The Loan is secured by the asset at Falls Creek and there is no recourse to members or guarantees by the Committee.
It is anticipated that the funds will be drawn down gradually during early 2012.
Bendigo Bank was chosen as their package was the most Club friendly of the three proposals we received.
We were delighted to have secured funding for the project as this allowed the Committee to authorise that works commence on site.

During 2011, the Club incurred significant costs related to the preparatory stage of the Lodge redevelopment. These costs will be expensed in the accounts for 2011 which will result in the Club reporting a Loss for the year.
However, the Committee has decided to capitalise the new works into the balance sheet and thus the majority of the capital funds committed to the project will result in an increase in the net worth of the Club.
Our cash flow projections for the next seven years, see us substantially paying down the loan from the Bank.
As Treasurer, I am hopeful of good seasons ahead that will increase patronage, and therefore shorten the life of the loan.

May I remind Members that subscriptions are due in the New Year. Remember that $50.00 accommodation vouchers are available to Full Members who pay by 15th January 2012.

David Stogdale

more season pass deals

If you missed the Hero pass offer last year, the lift company have announced some new season pass deals.

Adult pricing is
  • Leap year special $999, pay by 29 February
  • Early bird special $1199, pay by 30 April
  • Full season pass $1449, after 30 April

There are lower rates for seniors, children, secondary students and tertiary students.

Full details at www.fallscreek.com.au/SeasonPasses

possible new owners for Falls Creek

Merlin Entertainments Group has made a takeover bid for Living and Leisure Australia, which includes Falls Creek. Merlin is UK based and is the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator.

From Merlin's announcement
Merlin’s current attractions in the Asia Pacific region include: in Australia and New Zealand, Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK at the Sydney Tower Eye, WILD LIFE Hamilton Island, Oceanworld Manly, and Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World in Auckland; and Madame Tussauds attractions in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok. Attractions under development in the region – both of which are planned to open in 2012 – are a major LEGOLAND theme park in Malaysia and a Madame Tussauds in Sydney.

LLA directors have recommended the offer.

making weekend bookings

There is sometimes some confusion about making weekend bookings

The booking policy for weekends (other than Opening Weekend and Race Weekend) is that a booking cannot be made until
    Members 19 days prior (Monday)
    AAC reciprocal 16 days prior (Thursday)
    Guests 15 days prior (Friday)

However, there is no need to wait till these times to submit booking forms. In fact early submission of weekend booking requests makes it easier for the booking officer to manage bookings and room allocation. In return you will often get an early indication of whether your weekend booking request is likely to be successful. Firm confirmation of weekend bookings will not be made till the official times noted above.

room allocations

When you receive your booking confirmation slip, it includes a provisional room allocation. It is important to note that this allocation is subject to change. E.g. this may be to cater for extended stays, special needs of guests, later bookings or maintenance issues. You should always check the whiteboard on arrival for correct room allocation.

valley news

Yackandandah Creek bridge reopened
If you travel to Falls Creek via Albury/Wodonga you will be very pleased to hear that the new bridge has been completed and the Kiewa Valley Highway reopened shortly before Christmas. No more long detour north of Kiewa!

The bridge was seriously damaged by flash flooding about 12 months ago and had to be replaced. The highway has been closed since.

Be aware that there are still some speed restrictions in place.

new brewery premises in Mt Beauty
You may have already enjoyed a drop of the local Sweetwater beer at Falls or in Mt Beauty. Previously located at Annapurna winery, Sweetwater has now relocated to new premises on the Kiewa Valley Hwy in Tawonga South, directly opposite the Mt Beauty Holiday Centre (that's the caravan park).

The owner and brewer is a keen skier, you've probably seen him zipping around the resort on his tele skis. He's also a very keen fisherman. At this stage he's open Fri, Sat & Sun evenings for beer & snacks if you are looking for a refreshing ale when you are in the valley.