Selwyn reduced to gravel

Some of the ski lift towers survived the fires, but the lodges which lined the resort were levelled in the post-fire cleanup.

The Selwyn Snow Resort, site of decades of family winter memories, is now little more than a gravel pad.
After burning during last summer’s ‘Black Summer’ of fires, the former lodge and most outdoor buildings were completely destroyed. Only the towers and lines for ski lifts remain at the site, which currently has no electricity. Until power is restored (some time next year), it’s been difficult for the resort’s owners to assess how badly the lifts were damaged by the fires.
“We’re going through the planning stages. so everything’s sort of moving forward. Once we’ve got finalised designs we’ll release those,” said Andrew Dunkerley, Group Operations Manager for the resort’s owner ‘The Blyton Group’.
National Parks and NSW Planning are working with The Blyton Group to settle on a design which honours the local area.
Mr Dunkerley said The Blyton Group has hired architects to put together a design which enables a better ‘flow’ through the resort. Previously, skiers and snowboarders had to enter and exit several different buildings to buy lift tickets, rent equipment or order a hot lunch.
“The old one, over time, had developed into something that wasn’t practical for the modern skier,” he said.
The resort would have opened last weekend during a typical year, but last weekend the ground was still bare and Mr Dunkerley said most snow resorts are currently “light on snow.”
“It’s probably the season, it’s like that everywhere. That’s just the season we’ve been dealt at the moment,” he said.
For those who are wanting to ski or snowboard, Covid-19 social distancing requirements have limited the number of resort tickets available. Mr Dunkerley said it’s been “a bit of an adjustment” to adapt The Blyton Group’s Charlotte Pass resort to the new requirements and limitations.
“We’re not the only people that have to do it, everyone in the world is doing it,” he said.
“We’ve been inundated for Charlotte Pass, most definitely. The bookings team have their work cut out for them this season. It is an unprecedented season.”
Demand for tickets to Charlotte Pass is high, with people who would usually go to Selwyn looking for an alternative, along with people who weren’t able to get tickets to other resorts.
While Selwyn will not be opening this year, staff have been sharing ‘Flashback Friday’ posts on the Selwyn Snow Resort, including a video of a first-time skier, ‘Matilda’, who was just a toddler when she “found her snow legs” last year.
The rebuilding project is still on track for a winter 2021 opening.
– Katie Quinn