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Mt Hotham Statistics
Mt Hotham is the highest ski resort in Victoria, giving it the most reliable snow fall as recorded statistics show.
Mt Hotham History
The History of Mount Hotham starts way back in the 1850’s when early grazing, mining and service activities played an important role in the growth of recreation. They helped popularise the area and provided a capital infrastructure of tracks, huts, transport and accommodation services upon which a tourist industry was built. Sight-seeing from the Alpine Road, mining tracks and cattle pads was the main early tourist activity and was conducted during the Christmas period; there was virtually no patronage during winter.
By 1921 it became clear that some form of accommodation or shelter was required at Mt Hotham itself. The Alpine Road was popular amongst sightseers and with proposed improvements tourist patronage was expected to expand. The Country Roads Board commenced, road works in 1922 and a cottage was planned for Hotham as a patrolman’s residence and travellers shelter. The site was chosen with regard to distances from other shelters, its commanding position within the winter snowfields and the snow bound sections of the Alpine Road. The cottage was built of stone by Italian masons and christened 'Hotham Heights'.
By 1928 however, a more professional and full time accommodation service was clearly required as larger numbers of skiers were now visiting the mountain and their object at Hotham Heights was officially to promote skiing for the sake of tourist revenue. 1933 was a significant date in the development of the Hotham Resort. In that year the Railways Department took over the management of Hotham Heights, by Ministerial request. They publicised skiing, and erected signs near Hotham Heights throughout their tenure that lasted until 1952.
From the late 1940s to early 1960s progress was made towards modernisation and it was during this period Hotham grew in stature as a Resort. This happened because of growing pressure for development from skiers and resulted in the skiing community largely taking over the planning and administration of Hotham.
The first step towards club development was in 1944 with the Alpine Ski Club, other lodges soon followed: Wangaratta Ski Club (1946), Edelweiss Ski Club (1947) and University Ski Club (1948).
Apart from the erection of club lodges, emergency radio communication was installed and in 1951 Hotham’s first ski tow was constructed. In 1962 a Committee of Management was formed under the chairmanship of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey. The Department of Crown Lands and Survey was responsible for Mount Hotham until the formation of the Alpine Resorts Commission in 1983.
The Alpine Resorts Commission managed Mount Hotham until April 1998 when the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board assumed responsibility for the management of the resort.