Perisher Valley Timeline

Comments, corrections and additions are both welcome and sought.

It has been said that the Perisher Valley was named by James Spencer, who had settled in the area in the 1840s when he was caught in a storm.  His comment ‘What a perisher’ is probably apocryphal but it is a reasonable account of both the weather and the location.

Listed below are short notes on items of significance and interest.

1947Rock Creek Hut was built as a halfway hut between The Kosciusko Hotel and The Chalet. Construction commenced in 1938, suspended during War II, finished in 1947, destroyed by lightning in 1949 and re-built by Rock Creek Ski Club in 1959 using predominately the rubble from the site and the existing walls and fireplace.

  • PHS has yet to authenticate that the building was struck by lightning a second time – watch this space.
1950 Kosciusko Snow Revellers Club – Temporary Hut, completed in December 1950.  The main lodge was completed for the October Long weekend 1953. An argument for whether or not this was the first club building in Perisher is to be found in the PHS publication Highway to Heaven – A history of Perisher and the ski resorts along the Kosciuszko Road
1952Telemark No 1 built and occupied for the winter (pre-fabricated and fully imported from Norway).
Johnny Abbottsmith operated a sleigh with a team of dogs from Smiggin Holes to Perisher Valley, which was Perisher’s first oversnow transport.
 1953 Johnny Abbottsmith retired his dogs and began driving Weasels for the Alpine Transport Company which became Perisher Valley’s first motorised winter transport.
 1953 Inaugural Perisher Cup (Interclub) held at October long weekend. Each club team of four skiers competed in three events – Giant Slalom, Cross-county Relay and Jump.
The year 2020 marks the 67th running of the event.
 1956 Johnny Abbottsmith left the Alpine Transport Company and Bob Strizek bought their Weasals and added another vehicle.  This continued until the operation was acquired by Perisher Valley Enterprises in late 1959.
 1957K G Murray built Edelweiss Lodge.
Johnny Abbottsmith built the Village Tow betweenKandahar and
Snow Revellers lodges.
Perisher Ski Association is formed with Max Gregory as first president.
 1958K G Murray relocates Johnny Abbottsmith’s Village Tow to Front Valley where it becomes the first tow in Front Valley.  Unfortunately the tow is plagued by rope twisting and has to be scrapped.

Perisher’s telephone service connected.

 1959KG Murray’s initial major development of Perisher Valley.

Building of Sundeck Hotel and first T-bar.

Neville Gare, Superintendent Kosciuszko National Park 1959-1971

Rock Creek Hut rebuilt and known as Rock Creek Ski Club.

1960 Sundeck burns to the ground and rebuilt in the same year.

The Man from Snowy River Hotel built and opened.

Dulmison brings electricity to Perisher Valley from Guthega Power Station.

1961Mt Perisher double chair, built by Transfield, opens.

Gary Fischer opens Eiger Chalet while Jake Zweifel and Jean Ecuyer open Perisher View Motel.

1962KG Murray purchased two Porsche snowmobiles for the Perisher Valley Hotels.

Fritz & Margo Feiersinger open Marritz Alpine Inn.

Stan McGuinn previously from The Kosciuszko Chalet moves to Perisher as CEO of the operation.

Alan & Gwen Cooper (sister of Ken Murray) moved from the Sundeck to The Man from Snowy River Hotel.  Rated the most loved and respected hotel managers in Perisher’s history by guests, lodge people and stayed for twelve years.

Kenny Rouse Village Band played at “The Man” three nights a week and the Sundeck for two.

1963Ansett Pioneer moved into Oversnow transport operating Nodwell snowmobiles.
1964The ‘year of the shovel”, one of the heaviest snow years of the twentieth century. Ski lifts and lodges had to be dug out almost every day.
The ‘world’s longest chairlift’ opens at Charlotte Pass but is badly damaged by many blizzards and sees little operation.
1965Inaugural year of The Paddy Pallin Classic – Australia’s first cross-country ski classic.

Roman Catholic Church opens.

The Valley Inn opens. (Now known as The Perisher Manor).

1966Andi Krallinger who first worked under Fritz Halbwidl, becomes Ski School Director.
1967Mt Piper 42 metre Ski Jump built.
1968NSW Ski Patrol Association formed November 1968 with four area patrols – Perisher Valley, Thredbo, Smiggin Holes and Guthega.

Kosciusko State Park Trust changed its name to Kosciuszko National Park.

1969Winter opening of Kosciusko Road from Smiggin Holes to Perisher Valley.

Swiss slope grooming machine arrives.
First snowmaking trials conducted.
Kurt’s Keller restaurant opens to cater for growing skier numbers.
Ansett Pioneer pulls out of Oversnow Transport which was then taken over by Cottrills Clipper Tours owned by Ron Deane.

1971Eiger Chalet opens its White Spider Restaurant
1972KG Murray Publishing Company is sold to Australian Consolidated Press.

This purchase included the commercial rights and leases for ski tuition, all the numerous lifts in Perisher Valley and the two original hotels (‘Sundeck’ and ‘The Man from Snowy River’).

New owner, Kosciusko Alpine Resorts, is formed, a subsidiary of Publishing and Broadcasting.

 1973 Inaugural NSW Ski Association (NSWSA) formed taking over the administration of the sport of skiing in NSW from the defunct Ski Council of NSW.  The Association had committees to care for the individual interests of the various ski disciplines and regional zones – Perisher, Charlotte Pass, Thredbo & Smiggins (Guthega was the domain of the ACT Ski Federation).
NSWSA was a member state of the Australian Ski Federation.
 1976 Oversnow transport taken over by Hans Zollinger calling it Hans Oversnow and is still owned and operated by his son Ralph.

The All Denominational Church opened by Sir Roden Cutler, Governor of NSW.

1980Sverre Kaaten Nordic Shelter opened to become the centre of cross-country skiing in NSW. Additions in 2008 more than doubled its size.
1987Mt Blue Cow begins operations.

Skitube begins operations taking passengers via the tunnel from the Alpine Way at Bullocks Flat to Perisher Valley.
The tunnel link from Perisher to Blue Cow was not quite finished and buses were used to run through the tunnel with a turntable employed for the return trip.  The Perisher to Blue Cow section was completed next year.

1988 Skitube officially opened by Mr Nick Greiner, Premier of NSW
1995The separate operations of Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, The Station and the Skitube Railway merged under the single umbrella now known as Perisher.  It is the largest snow resort operation in the southern hemisphere.  It has the highest terrain, the greatest number of lifts and the most reliable snow in Australia.
2008Perisher Ski Resort negotiated a new lease with the NSW Government for all four resort areas for another 60 years.
2015Vail Resorts, Inc. announced that the Company has agreed to acquire its first international mountain resort, Perisher Ski Resort (“Perisher”) in New South Wales, Australia, for total cash consideration of AU$176.6 million (approximately US$136 million), subject to certain adjustments.