Mt Buller to open this Saturday

Victoria, Australia – Mt Buller, Victoria's premier alpine resort, is ramping up operations for its Opening Weekend celebrations, which will take place on June 7-9 to mark the start of the 2008 winter season. Based in the Village Square, the festivities will revolve around a 'Fire and Ice' theme, delivering a range of entertainment options for all ages.

Phil Nunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board commented that there is already a buzz in the air around the Village thanks to the recent snowfalls seen over the past few weeks.

"The long weekend is all about the celebration of the new snow season, and with all of the early snowfalls and snowmaking that the cool autumn temperatures have allowed, there is a feeling of eager anticipation about what this winter will bring," said Nunn.

The Village Square celebrations will commence with an ice sculpting spectacular, as two professional ice carvers construct a 2.5 metre snowflake using chainsaws and precision tools. The display is expected to last several days, pending weather conditions.

There will be plenty of entertainment for the family with free gluhwein and hot-chocolate, balloon giveaways and face-painting. Barry the Pygmy Possum, Mt Buller's environmental mascot, will perform his debut song and dance show which will be a great one for the kids – big and small. Barry will be entertaining guests with a range of live shows throughout the rest of the snow season.

Resort visitors will also be able to enhance the security of their skis and snowboards by getting them engraved by Victoria Police at a stand located by the Cow Camp veranda from midday onwards. The Police will also be offering TAC driver safety information along with snow safe giveaways and activities.

Minister Gavin Jennings will officially open the snow season, after which Icebreaker will host two fashion parades, allowing guests to sneak a peek at this season's new merino wool gear.

Dynamic Victorian Police band 'Code 1' will perform between the fashion parades, leading into a stunning fire and percussion show on the main stage as the sun sets across Mt Stirling and the Delatite valley. The celebrations will culminate in a Pepsi fireworks spectacular that will light up the sky over the Buller Village.

"This season's opening sees one of our biggest line-ups for the celebrations," said Nunn. "This, combined with the great new range of infrastructure, services and activities that we're launching this season, ensures that there's never been a better time to visit Mt Buller and experience what the resort has to offer."

Opening Weekend will feature the official launch of Australia's first high speed six seater chairlift. Visitors will be able to access the new $6 million Holden Express chairlift that can move 3,200 riders per hour, making the trip from Helicopter Flat to the top of Baldy in less than four minutes.

The new coffee table book 'Mt Buller – the story of a mountain' will also be launched on Opening Weekend. The book is a time-capsule detailing the history of the original indigenous inhabitants to the humble beginnings of the resort to its current form today. It can be purchased at Buller Sports or the Post Office.