Opening Weekend In Review
On the first day of the 2011 season, Hotham delivered crisp temperatures, clear blue skies, sunshine and best of all – skiable snow! The team from Seven Sunrise joined us for several live crosses throughout the morning, broadcasting a spectacular sunrise and Hotham’s breathtaking surroundings to viewers all over the country.
Lifts spinning on day one included The Big D, Summit Trainer and Upper Playground with snowdepths reaching around 30cm on average. On day two, Roadrunner Chairlift opened allowing skiing/riding on Sun Run and The Basin for those not recovering from celebrations the night before. Guests to the resort were also able to attend the Biathlon ‘Come and Try’ sessions, having the opportunity to chat to current biathletes about the growing sport and fire a few rounds themselves.
At the Hotham Alpine Resort official season launch, Belinda Trembath, Hotham Skiing Company GM, Mr Len Spargo, Nigel Abbott for Snow Australia, Bill Tilley MP – Member for Benambra, Alpine Shire Deputy Mayor Darryl Pearse and Nicole Feeney, Chair of the Hotham Resort Management Board commenced the festivities and helped kick off celebrations for the anniversary of 150 years of skiing in Australia. Len Spargo, nephew of Bill Spargo, entertained the audience with his memories of skiing in the early days and the important role his family played in developing recreational skiing at Hotham.
For many guests, the après celebrations were the focus of the weekend, with a wide variety of events catering for all ages. The Dinner Plain Food & Wine Festival showcased the talents of some of Melbourne’s top chefs. Throughout the weekend, many courses of delicious offerings were providing by Movida’s Frank Camorra, Artisan Cheesemaker Richard Thomas, Matt Germanchis from Pandora’s Box and Michael Ryan from Beechworth’s two-hatted restaurant Provenance, who closed the festival at Tsubo on Monday night with a sensational display of Japanese-inspired cooking methods and delicacies.
Harry the Snowdragon came out of hibernation and was kept busy for the rest of the weekend with his first show of the season, an appearance at the CFA at Hotham, a meet and greet at Hotham Central, and even judging a snowman building competition! Guests in attendance for Sunday lunch at Alphütte in Dinner Plain enjoyed a delectable take on a ‘classic Sunday lunch’ and were entertained by the inspirational stories from the team from Conviction Kitchen, including Front-of-House Host Lisa Parker and trainees Lisa and Mirjana. Despite some lingering fog, the fireworks display in Dinner Plain lit up the sky on Sunday night in a spectacular fashion which was enjoyed by all. Elsewhere up on the mountain, guests enjoyed food and music highlights at venues such as the newly refurbished Chill Bar, the delicious offerings of the new chef and new menu at the White Room, and Zirky’s bistro’s new ‘Steer and Beer’ steakhouse menu and Steins on Sunday session.
Overall, a terrific weekend was had by all. With more snow forecast for later in the week, everyone is holding their breath, ready and waiting now the season is officially underway.
Image: Guests ride the playground chair on opening morning.
14 June 2011
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