8 March 2024

Thredbo's new Alpine Coaster a Southern Hemisphere first

| Edwina Mason
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construction work at Thredbo Resort

Construction on the new Alpine Coaster at Thredbo Resort is well underway, with the new attraction set to open this winter. Photo: Thredbo Resort.

Construction is underway for the Southern Hemisphere’s first-ever year-round Alpine Coaster which is set to start operating at Thredbo Resort this winter.

The roller-coaster-style toboggan amusement attraction will wind 1.5 kilometres down through the resort’s alpine and sub-alpine vegetation zones from the top of Lovers Leap to the Valley Terminal precinct.

Passengers can control their speed of up to 40 km/h as they travel along a mix of uphill and downhill tracks featuring a tunnel, bridges and circles that traverse the alpine environment.

Running adjacent to the existing Snowgums chair for the uplink, the top station and start of the ride would commence just below the current first Snowgums unload.

The new $9 million attraction, extremely popular at Northern Hemisphere ski resorts, is expected to diversify the Snowy Mountains resort’s year-round recreational offering as an all-weather, action-packed way to experience the mountain.

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Thredbo General Manager Stuart Diver said the development aligned with the resort’s focus on providing premium guest experiences and parent company EVT’s overarching strategic focus to create experiences that escaped the ordinary.

“The Alpine Coaster is set to add a new dimension to every guest’s visit,” he said. “It will be a hugely exciting on-snow experience in winter, and it will build upon our wide range of outdoor adventures in summer as a drawcard for new tourists to the village in the shoulder seasons.

“This new development is a testament to Thredbo’s commitment to providing a premium experience for our guests 365 days a year.”

Construction commenced in October last year, and there has been considerable progress with the bulk civil excavation works and concreting now complete, and the track installation currently in progress.

As part of the construction, the Alpine Coaster will undergo safety testing by independent third-party engineers in the later part of autumn, ready for the first customers in winter this year.

This is all part of a new wave of upgrades that fall under a 10-year development plan at the resort.

Six significant developments have already been completed since 2022 including upgrades to ski-lift infrastructure, such as the Easy-Rider T-Bar and the Merritts Gondola in 2022 and Freddie’s Snowrunner in 2023.

Apline Coaster ride at Thredbo

The Alpine Coaster will travel along a mix of uphill and downhill tracks featuring a tunnel, bridges and circles that traverse the alpine environment. Photo: Thredbo Resort.

The Snowgums Chairlift is the next lift to be replaced in 2025 as part of this plan.

Last year, it was announced a development application had been lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a new accommodation subdivision in Thredbo Alpine Resort, the first land release for subdivision in three decades.

This summer, Thredbo Mountain Bike (MTB) Park introduced a number of new sections to existing trails which, Mr Diver said, had significantly improved the sustainability and overall ride experience.

These updates have been made across the Kosciuszko Flow Trail and Paparazzi Trail, with further upgrades and expansions planned across the MTB Park in the future.

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This coming winter, Thredbo will further strengthen its snowmaking fleet and on-mountain machinery, ensuring the skiing and snowboarding experience is improved upon each year.

In preparation for this season, Thredbo will replace the pipeline snowmaking gun and add three new fan guns towards the base of the Kosciuszko Chairlift, building upon the 15 new snowmaking guns added in 2022 and 2023.

Thredbo will also add a new Pisten Bully snowcat and a new Prinoth Demo snowcat to the fleet this winter, ensuring the machinery remains top-of-the-line for grooming and terrain park building.

All this and a swathe of international awards to round out 2023 including ‘Australia’s Best Ski Resort’ crown for the seventh consecutive year at the 2023 World Ski Awards, ‘Australia’s Best Ski Resort For Families’ award at the 2023 Out And About With Kids Readers’ Choice Awards for the sixth year in a row and the ‘Best Australian Resort’ award at the 2023 Snowsports Industries of Australia Awards for the second year in a row.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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