Back in 1978, Rob Chapman and Alan Lance, both members of Collaroy Surf Life Club came to hear of plans to expand the available accommodation in Charlotte Pass and were determined to start a club ski lodge there. Rob approached the company operating the village and was able to secure the lease of a building site.
The invited two other Collaroy SLSC members, Barry Cripps and Mick Chapman, to join them and Rob approached a solicitor friend, Michael Strickland, for help in drawing up the necessary paperwork. The five of them formed the first committee of the club and became Foundation Members.
The capital cost of the lease was $20,000 ($1,000 per bed) to which was added a contribution of $5,300 towards the cost of installing an electricity power line from Perisher (until that time, power for the village was provided by a generator housed in what is now the ski centre building).
The company, Burrawong Ski Club Limited, was incorporated on 30 November 1978 and the lease from Charlotte Pass Village Pty Ltd was promptly executed to run from 1 December that year until 1 March 2015.
After many meetings and discussions, it was decided to engage Trinder Alpine Constructions to build the proposed lodge, in part at least because they were already building the adjacent lodges, Snowbird, Ahlberg and Tar-Gan-Gil.
The basic building was priced at $77,000. Furnishings, appliances, utensils, tools and equipment called for an additional $13,000 but the usual “extras” (additional excavation and other work which had not been anticipated) blew the cost out by approximately $13,500. Add the capital cost of the lease; the total start-up funding required became a little over $130,000.
It was decided that this expenditure should be raised by the issue of debentures, requiring an investment of $2,000 from each debenture-holding member, with the aim to enlist 60 such members paying a total of $120,000. The balance would be funded by a bank overdraft. The club’s constitution also provided for ordinary members (being the adult offspring of debenture-holders) with thirteen such members joining in the early months.
The first general meeting of the club was held at Collaroy SLSC on 11 March 1079 when the five Foundation Members were returned to office. Membership subscriptions for members and ordinary members were set at $20 per year. Accommodation charges for both members and guests were set at $35.00 per week.
After six months, with snow on the ground and members waxing their skis, progress on the building had faltered and relations with the builder had soured. It was to be another twelve months before the matters in dispute were finally resolved but the NP&WS were persuaded to allow occupation from 12 July 1979.
The first members to use the lodge are recorded as being: Barry and Jan Cripps and their son Roger; Mick Chapman and his son Mitchell; Barbara and Gary Parker and their children Michael, Richard and Jane; and Andrew and Carolyn Laurie and their son Sean.
Lift tickets in 1979 were $70 for the week; $12 per day; or $8 for half day. Oversnow transport was $7 each way.
How times have changed! From these humble beginnings, Burrawong Ski Club has gown into the club which stands today, offering excellent facilities and value for money for your Snowy Mountains holiday.