Ski lovers were literally screaming with frustration, as they battled through the virtual crowds to secure their passes to the Thredbo snowfields.
Skiers and snowboarders were unsure whether they’d be able to hit the snow at all this Winter season. But relaxing restrictions meant that Australian ski resorts will be able to open their slopes, with a myriad of conditions in place to ensure they are adhering to social distancing rules.
Thredbo resort, in NSW’s Snowy Mountains, recently announced their official reopening date: Monday, 22nd of June – conditions permitting. However, they said that they would be reducing their daily capacity limits by up to 50% and will implement a “range of social distancing and sanitisation measures.”
Skiing With A Difference
There will be no group skiing and snowboarding lessons – all tuition will be private. Children’s ski lessons will also be closed, with the resort stating “Thredboland [the three to six year old ski programme] will be unable to open at the time of the season opening, but this will continue to be monitored as restrictions ease.”
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Ski Passes On Sale
Two days ago, Thredbo announced that they would release the Winter 2020 lift passes via the Online Shop. The first release of passes would be available to purchase online from 12noon on Thursday 11 June and will cover the date range 22 June – 13 September.
“We’ll continue to keep you posted when conditions allow us to release more passes throughout the winter. Remember, due to social distancing our on-mountain capacity is guided by the amount of terrain we’re able to open based on snow conditions. Thanks for your patience!”
Chaos On The Online Skifields
Unfortunately, Thredbo did not anticipate how desperate its fans were to secure their passes. Many had already pre-booked their accommodation so really needed to get a snow pass.
By 3:30pm, the website had been inundated with as many as 28,000 excitable buyers. And fans were absolutely spitting with the ridiculous wait and the shocking platform.
What A Disaster!
Thousands of disgruntled people slammed the Thredbo facebook page with their frustration:
“This lift pass release has been an absolute disaster,” said one.
“This is a total joke – 3 hours on and still 4000+ in front!”
“I logged on early to give myself the best opportunity to secure tickets. I was circa 2000 deep in the line and then got a screen shot at midday saying I will be ‘randomly’ allocated a position in the line. I was bumped some 8000 back in the line and have been waiting for hours…. This is rough treatment for a person who visits the resort year round and has buys a 365 pass each and every year!!”
“I’ve been online for 3.5 hours. Started at 11400 in the queue, got to 4500, then Thredbo’s system failed and put me back to 23,000 in the line. Loving it. Paid the accommodation, but no tickets. FFS”
“We have been on line since 11:59 am & it said that we had 13,660, then we checked again & it said we had 20733 in front. How did this happen? We did not leave the line, so we are very frustrated & annoyed over this. We don’t know how we got pushed back, as we didn’t leave the line ..we understand what you are going through, but don’t understand why we lost our place!! We are now 19399!!”
“I was 2500 in the line and somehow got bumped to 7500!!!! People far behind me originally have bought their tickets and I’m still 5200 people to go. I’ve booked accommodation and will be devastated if I miss out.”
“How can you have a queue of 7,000 in front of you 1 hour before the website opens. When it opened my screen froze. I refreshed and my line was lost and I am pushed to the back of the queue. I booked accomodation in Jan 2020 (like many others). Why did guest services not just allocate tickets to us first? Total incompetence.”
“What a debacle Thredbo. You’ve lost my business. Perisher have it together. You only have yourselves to blame for losing long time supporters.”
There were hundreds of similar complaints and Thredbo fans were turning to foes very quickly!
Please Be Patient – We’re Not Coping!
Thredbo released a statement on their social media pleading for patience:
“Hey guys, we’re experiencing an unprecedented amount of traffic to our website today. We love your passion for the mountains and getting back skiing & snowboarding again this season. Please hang in there – we’re working through the issues and hope to have it all resolved for you asap. A heads up that this is our first release of passes and we’ll be releasing more passes as soon as snow conditions allow.”
Hang In There!
A few hours later Thredbo followed up with an update:
“Just to give you an update – we can confirm that the Online Shop is working however due to the massive amount of traffic, it is processing slowly so please hang in there and stay in the queue. There are still passes available and we’ll publish any sold out dates on the Waiting Room page.
We have been overwhelmed by demand for the first release of the 2020 lift passes – at one point we had as many as 25,000 visiting our Online Store to purchase lift passes, the largest volume we’ve ever experienced on our store.”
However, angry snow lovers were unforgiving:
“So what happens for the people who got to the front of the queue as the website crashed and now can’t get passes for the days they have accommodation booked? We have some devastated kids here…”
“Completely expected and completely avoidable! You’ve never had this influx because you usually have season pass holder sorted before going on sale with passes. You couldn’t have planned this worse and the virus isn’t to blame. It’s solely because you desperately need some business people in there as opposed to coned out ski heads.”
With international borders closed, snow lovers will be flocking to Australian ski fields this Winter season. It looks like they may not actually get tickets though.
Are you keen to ski at Thredbo or another local snowfield this Winter? Tell us in the comments below.