Mount Buffalo

Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment and Activation

Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment

An assessment of seven key concepts to reinvigorate Mount Buffalo has identified a food and beverage option as the most attractive.

The findings of the Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), are now available to the public.

Led by the Mount Buffalo Activation Taskforce, the report provides an assessment of seven concepts for their potential commercial and broader economic benefit. All members of the Taskforce have worked extremely positively with the shared goal of the reinvigoration of Mount Buffalo.

The assessment recommends a $2 million café in the front rooms of the Mount Buffalo Chalet as the first step to reconnect people to the Chalet, and build confidence with the community, business operators and potential investors.

Council has been advocating strongly for investment in this concept and looks forward to it becoming a reality in the near future.

Read the full report here: Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment

Taskforce meeting - April 2018

The Mount Buffalo Activation Task Force met with consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers on Friday, 20 April to discuss the next steps for the Mount Buffalo project.

The contract for Consultancy Services for Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment and Activation was awarded to PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier in the month.

It was a productive meeting with all parties remaining positive and excited about driving investment into Mount Buffalo.

The Task Force is led by Parliamentary Secretary Danielle Green and includes representatives from Council, Parks Victoria, Rural Development Victoria, Tourism North East, Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group and Community Action for the Chalet.

The next taskforce meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 12 June 2018.

Taskforce meeting - June 2018

Consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) presented the Task Force with a detailed update on their progress on the Mount Buffalo project. The PwC team has been sounding out investor interest in the concepts shown in the Vision document.

The feedback has been encouraging, confirming that interest exists in investing in Mount Buffalo whilst highlighting common challenges which need to be overcome. The PwC team continues to progress an assessment of the likely demand of the different concepts proposed in the Vision document, and the costs to deliver these concepts. This information will be used to establish the feasibility of each of the different concepts.

A number of the Task Force members recently met with the Board of the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and had a positive discussion about Vision for Mount Buffalo.

Taskforce Meeting - October 2018

At the last meeting, the Task Force considered the Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment Report from the consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report will be formally presented to the Alpine Shire Council at a future Council meeting, and will be publicly released via the Council website at this time.

The PwC report assesses the feasibility of the concepts identified in the 'Vision for Mount Buffalo' document. The analysis includes consideration of the demand drivers, challenges and policy constraints, and costs and benefits of each concept identified in the Vision.

The report is intended to provide more detailed information for the attraction of interested parties in the potential development of the concepts for Mount Buffalo.

Alpine Shire Council has been pleased with the positive and supportive co-operation of all organisations involved in the Task Force to further this project.

Consultancy Services contract awarded - April 2018

Council awarded the contract for Consultancy Services to PricewaterhouseCoopers at its April Council Meeting.

The next Task Force meeting is scheduled for Friday, 20 April.

Tenders being assessed - February 2018

The Task Force held its second meeting on 16 February 2018, the eve of tender closure. It was excited by the healthy level of interest and look forward to announcing the successful tenderer(s). The Task Force remains positive about realising the all-of-mountain concepts identified in the community led vision document.

The Task Force supports Parks Victoria’s recently revealed plans to enhance the Gorge Day Visitor Area, which complements the community’s all-of-mountain vision.

Engaging business consultants – January 2018

In late January, Alpine Shire Council - on behalf of the Mount Buffalo Activation Task Force - invited tenders from suitably qualified consultants to complete a business case feasibility assessment of the tourism concepts identified in the 'Vision for Mount Buffalo' document, prepared by MBDAG.

In assessing the tourism concepts presented, the engaged consultants will consider demand drivers, challenges and policy constraints, costs and benefits, and (where feasible) realise commercial opportunities for development.

This project is part of a collaborative and strategic approach to reinvigorating Mount Buffalo as a year round alpine destination.

Funding announced - December 2017

On Wednesday 6 December, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria, MP Danielle Green announced that the Victorian Government would provide Alpine Shire Council with $200,000 for the Mount Buffalo Business Case Assessment and Activation project. The project will determine the feasibility of concepts identified by the community-led Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group and importantly work with commercial partners to realise feasible concepts.

The project is being driven by a multi-stakeholder Task Force which is being led by Parliamentary Secretary, Danielle Green.

Mount Buffalo Activation Task Force
Danielle Green Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria State Government Victoria
Matt Nelson Regional Director Regional Development Victoria
Simon Talbot Chief Operating Officer Parks Victoria
Ty Caling District Manager, North East Parks Victoria
Amber Gardner Chief Executive Officer Tourism North East
Janelle Boynton Chair Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group
David Jacobson Chair Community Action for Mount Buffalo Chalet
Clare Kiely Regional Director Hume Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Matthew Burns Chief Executive Officer Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
Ron Janas Mayor Alpine Shire Council
Charlie Bird Chief Executive Officer Alpine Shire Council

Vision for Mount Buffalo – February 2017

The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group engaged with the local community and interested parties developed a concept plan, entitled ‘Vision for Mount Buffalo’.

Ideas to re-invigorate Mount Buffalo’s major visitor hubs – The Gorge and Chalet Village, Lake Catani, Dingo Dell, Cresta Valley and the Gateway – include:
The tourism concepts include:
1. Gorge Skywalk Tourism Attraction: 50 m glass bottom walkway across the granite rock gorge of Mount Buffalo
2. Mount Buffalo Chalet and Village: Potential restoration of the Mount Buffalo Chalet and the reuse of surrounding buildings for commercial activities such as accommodation, spa retreat, hotel, retail, training and events
3. Food and Beverage Offering: Opportunities for provision of food and beverage services, including at the Gorge and front section of the Chalet
4. Glamping and Wilderness Huts at Lake Catani: Basic camping provided at the site currently generates 15,000 visitor nights. The Vision identifies opportunities to grow the market for high standard camping options
5. Enhancement of Activity and Event Offering: Redevelopment of Cresta Valley into an alpine activity centre, expanded walks, mountain bike trail development
6. Dingo Dell: Potential development as an Outdoor Education Centre of Excellence
7. Mountain Gateway: Development of a visitor centre at the base of the mountain.

Establishment of the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group (MBDAG) – March 2016

The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group (MBDAG) was established March 2016 to work collaboratively with Parks Victoria and provide strategic recommendations about the future of the Mount Buffalo.

The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group (MBDAG) members are:
- Mayor Ron Janas, Alpine Shire Council
- David Jacobson, Chair, Community Action for the Chalet (CAC)
- Amber Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism North East
- Janelle Boynton, Local heritage building specialist (Chair, MBDAG)
- Marcus Stewart, Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation

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