One of Australia’s most popular ski resorts, Thredbo, has announced a ban on toboggans and “other miscellaneous snow sliding equipment associated with ‘Snow Play'” in its lease area, just a week out from the start of the ski season.
In a dour announcement on its website, the resort said it was “to maximise safety for guests, employees, and resort property” and “No enquiries will be entertained from toboggan or miscellaneous snow sliding equipment users”.
The company, owned by ASX-listed Event Hospitality & Entertainment, which also owns the Rydges hotels chain and several cinema brands, including Greater Union, said that it was “an observed trend of guests taking toboggans and miscellaneous snow sliding equipment onto ski runs”, which increased the risk collision and “falling off of the equipment”.
“We acknowledge that tobogganing is a favourite winter pastime, however it also has inherent risk as there is limited ability to control the equipment being used,” the statement said.
Sledding was described as “very dangerous”.
This prohibition includes any area under the ownership or control of Thredbo.
Rival Perisher prohibits toboggans on its ski slopes, but has a designated toboggan slope located beside Perisher Valley Car Park on Pipers Ridge.
Selwyn in Victoria also has a designated toboggan area which costs $15 for the whole day, a price that includes a toboggan.
Mt Hotham was keen to point out it’s still cool with them.
Snowplay and tobogganing are still on in designated areas at Mt Hotham! Check our website for more info on where you can safely toboggan & please observe all safety signs around the resort. https://t.co/x7112SnMTb #staysafe #mthotham #mounthotham #snow #toboggan #winter
— Mount Hotham RMB (@MtHotham_RMB) May 30, 2018
Corin Forest in the ACT has $5 2.5 hours toboggan sessions on its slopes.
But news of the Thredbo ban sparked outrage on social media and accusations that the business is seeking to capitalise on its investment by banning a low-cost past-time. Others queried why, if control was the issue, snowboarders weren’t also banned from the slopes.
Is there a money motive to the #Thredbo ban on tobogganing? As a mum of four, it was the only snow activity that didn't break the bank. It was joy, pure (free) joy, for the entire family. Now there's no choice to pay a fortune for the very expensive skiing and snowboarding
— Nikki Gemmell (@NikkiGemmell) May 30, 2018
Others point out there are plenty of other areas in the park where they can still be used:
The leasehold area at Thredbo is small, same at perisher. Lots of areas to taboggan in NP at dainers gap (perisher), dead horse gap (Thredbo) etc.
As a ski patroller I saw some pretty horrendous injuries on taboggans. They have no brakes.
Agree re: access to snow and equity
— James Trezise (@james_trezise) May 30, 2018
And the residents seem non-plussed
It took thousands of years of evolution to create a pouch for my ski lift pass to go in and now Thredbo goes and bans tobogganing.
Next step for evolution is to give me some ski legs.
????????❄️????⛄️????????????⛷????????#Wombat #Thredbo #Tobogganing #Toboggan #TobogganBan #CashGrab #Money pic.twitter.com/TPvosSBftS
— Lost Wombats (@LostWombats) May 30, 2018
Hey @ThredboResort #Thredbo your YouTube channel has kids tobogganing in the snow park. You are ostracizing families from your resort. Your decisions are pathetic. Lemme guess, skiing will to too dangerous soon? More of a reason to go to New Zealand
— DRPhoto (@DavidReidPhoto) May 30, 2018
So #Thredbo is banning playing in the snow. I think an appropriate response is for all visitors to write their name in the snow as a protest.
— Howie (@the_howie) May 30, 2018
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