With or without snow, the King’s Birthday long weekend opens the winter season at Falls Creek in Alpine Victoria.

Despite a brief closure of the access road to the resort this week, business owners on the mountain are firmly optimistic about the ski season ahead.

On Wednesday evening, just days before the snow season officially commenced, Major Roads Project Victoria (MRPV) closed the Bogong High Plains Road between Mount Beauty and Falls Creek due to severe forecasted weather.

The road was closed last October until April this year due to a major slow-moving landslide.

It limited access to Falls Creek and effectively ended the summer season.

On Friday morning at Falls Creek it was -1 degrees Celsius, with snow covering some ski runs after overnight snowmaking.()

In late April, the 300-metre section of road reopened to alternating single-lane traffic, and MRPV advised that works to reopen both lanes were ongoing.

MRPV program director Dipal Sorathia said the decision to close the route this week was made “to ensure the safety of motorists, the local community and tourists”.

He said it was coordinated with “emergency service partners and on the trusted advice of the Bureau of Meteorology”.

The road reopened on Thursday morning, just over 12 hours later, with geotechnical specialists on-site to inspect the landslip on daybreak, MRPV said.

It said scenarios where future road closures could be necessary included “severe weather, adverse movement in the landslip or by instruction from emergency services” but would be subject to case-by-case assessment.

Crews have been clearing a landslide cutting on Bogong High Plains road. ()

Sights on a strong season

Narelle Clark manages Cedarwood apartments at Falls Creek and is looking toward a “heavily booked” winter.

Ms Clark said Wednesday’s weather was uncommon, and as soon as the road reopened in April, bookings “went crazy”.

Earlier in the year, there was uncertainty about when the road would reopen, which caused some hesitancy in making ski-season bookings, she said.

“As much as it stung to have the road closed for the summer”, Ms Clark said, it was a necessity to ensure access was restored for the snow season.

“We’ve had a big hit with losing the summer, but that’s nothing compared to our core trade, which is winter.”

The general manager of St Falls Resort, Kate Moegelm, was not concerned by this week’s brief road closure and said it was the right thing to do.

It was “just precautionary”, Ms Moegelm said, adding that overnight traffic was minimal.

Falls Creek after a fresh dump of snow on May 30.()

She says bookings for the ski season are looking positive, despite not having snow on the ground, which has slowed it down a little.

“But other than that, it is looking good,” Ms Moegelm said.

The community has been excited for the snow season to start, “Especially after the summer we’ve had”, she says.

The current absence of snow is a completely different hurdle for some of the other resort business owners, but Ms Moegel is positive that the snow coverage will improve as winter progresses.

“You can never pick it in June,” she said.

dan