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A Brief History of the Playground Chair

1969 - 2018

The Playground Chairlift was Mt Hotham’s first ever chairlift, a two-seater that opened in 1969. Prior to the Playground Chair, Hotham was serviced by a number of surface tows. It was originally planned to be installed in the Australia Drift – Avalanche Gully area, but a last-minute change was made and it was moved to the slope north of Zirky’s down to Swindlers Creek where it stayed. In the first year, it only operated to the mid-station, however in 1970 it went down to gully with the base station built practically on top of Swindlers Creek. It was the main access lift back to Village until 1993 when the Village Chair Opened.

As development continued and more poma’s and chairlifts were built at Hotham, the Playground Chair evolved to suit the needs of the resort.

In 1979, the Sun Run T-bar was installed, duplicating the upper section of the Playground and so the mid-station was removed.

In 1993, the base station had to be moved up above the steep section of Lower Playground, as given the chosen alignment of the Village Chair, there wasn’t enough room for both chairs base stations.

 In 1995, the Sun Run T-bar was replaced by the much longer Road Runner quad and so an improved mid station was initially used for a couple of years before a proper mid-station was built in about 1996.

In its last two decades of operation the Playground loaded most of its passengers from the mid station and was used less and less over time. Removal of the towers will see the Lower Playground area open and don't tell anyone, but it's pretty awesome on a powder day! 

Join us on Opening Weekend for your chance to bid for one of these iconic chairs and own a piece of Hotham History.

Saturday 10th June, 4-6pm @ The Bird

Can’t make it Opening Weekend? Don’t worry, the remaining chairs will be available via our online auction from Sunday 11th June.

We’d also love to hear from local charities that we can support with funds raised at the Auction via the Epic Promise Foundation - apply now.

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