Selwyn developing design for new resort

The former Welwyn Snow Resort was completed destroyed in last summer’s bushfires.

We’re still 12 months out from a functioning ski season at the Selwyn Snow Resort, but executives are developing a design for the new resort, working closely with public parks, planning officials and architects to create a base with “better flow” than the former multi-building arrangement.

Selwyn, located 45 km from Adaminaby, was completely destroyed by last summer’s bushfires. 

Andrew Dunkerley, Group Operations Manager for the resort’s owner ‘The Blyton Group’, said the demolition of the fire-damaged buildings was completed ahead of schedule, but testing is still continuing on the resort’s chair lift infrastructure.

“The site is pretty much clear,” said Mr Dunkerley. “We are still getting the results on the lifting infrastructure; it’s just taken a little bit longer than expected because there’s no power up there, so they’ve had to truck in generators to hook up chair lifts to see if they spin and check towers and ropes.

“It’s taken a little bit longer than we’d initially hoped.”

Despite the delay with the lifts, the overall project is on track for a 2021 ski season, with electricity expected to be restored by this time next year. 

Currently, The Blyton Group is working on a design for the new resort which “ticks the boxes” with National Parks and NSW Planning. 

“We’ve got concepts and some designs and we’re actively moving forward with those with the relevant state bodies,” said Mr Dunkerley. “We meet with them once a fortnight and go over what we’ve got and where we’re up to.”

The original resort was started in 1966 with a single tow rope on what is now the Township run. Now comprising roughly 45 hectares, with 11 lifts operating prior to the fires and 45 kilometres of cross-country ski trails. 

Mr Dunkerley said that without any electricity or infrastructure, Selwyn wouldn’t be opening to the public at all this year, focusing on their rebuild and relaunch in 2021. 

“Whether National Parks is opening the region, I don’t know, but Selwyn won’t be,” he said. 

The new resort design is under wraps for now, until The Blyton Group gets official approval from the governing bodies. The only detail Mr Dunkerley could share was that the new resort would have a more thoughtful layout.

“The design of Selwyn previously didn’t lend itself to an easy flow for the guest,” he explained. “You had to pull up in the car park and go to one building to do your ski hire, then another building to get your ticket. 

“We’re trying to design something where it’s an easy flow; you can enter one part and flow through all the products and service without having to zig zag all over the resort.

“The old one, over time, had developed into something that wasn’t practical for the modern skier.”

The Selwyn Snow Resort has always been one of the most “affordable” places to ski for young families.

He’s hopeful a new design might be approved “over the next month or so.”

“We’ll have to wait and see. We’re constantly communicating with parks and planning and our architects and designers. 

“Hopefully we’ll have something sooner rather than later.”

The new resort will be built with private funds from The Blyton Group, and still cater to its target market of beginners, families and day-trippers. With 88 per cent of the resort’s terrain suited to beginners and intermediates, Mr Dunkerley said it’s important that Selwyn remains reasonably priced. 

“We’re still aiming to be the most affordable place,” he said. “It’s one of those things that’s kept Selwyn family friendly.”