Yarrawonga Mulwala has experienced a healthy Christmas/New Year trading period with positive reports from accommodation, retail, and entertainment sectors.RACHEAL WILLETT January 7, 2014 3:46pm
While Lake Mulwala consistently proves to be a popular attraction to bring people to the area, a variety of events coupled with mild weather, has seen many people looking further afield for holiday activities.
“We’ve had a lot of people through the doors of the Yarrawonga Mulwala Visitor Information Centre,” said Helen Copland, “we’ve pretty much been flat out”.
“Visitors are coming in asking for information about local events, things like the Yarrawonga Rodeo and the Silverwoods Lifestyle Expo, as well as the favourites like the ski show at the Mulwala Water Ski Club and Tunzafun.
“Because we haven’t had that sweltering summer heat that usually drives visitors to the water by lunchtime people are looking for other things to do, taking advantage of the mild weather.”
In terms of accommodation bookings Helen said most places were booked out with only the occasional room available here and there.
“As always accommodation bookings for this time of year have been great,” she said. “Now we will see an exodus of people who’ve spent the festive break here and a shift toward families wanting to enjoy the remainder of the school holidays.”
Houghtons Clothing owner Don McPhee said after a slight reduction in retail spend in the Christmas lead up he expected the latest figures to be on par with last year.
“From our perspective and speaking to other retailers, December was a little slow, perhaps more in terms of apparel, while other sectors such as homewares seemed to do well,” he said.
“Following on from that I’d say the last few weeks have been good. There certainly seems to be plenty of people around and everyone is busy which will hopefully translate into good figures.”
Mr McPhee said he had noticed an apparent shift in the age of holiday visitors.
“There seems to be a trend toward more young people spending time here this festive season,” he said.
“We’ve seen less families and children across the Christmas/New Year break than in previous years but there are a lot of people in that 20s age group around.”
After a very busy New Year’s Eve, a spokesperson for ClubMulwala said visitor numbers in general had been good and everyone had been very well behaved.
“Numbers might be slightly down on last year but we are expecting another couple of busy weeks to come,” the spokesperson said.
Mulwala Water Ski Club CEO Peter Duncan said figures showed a steady start to the summer season.
“We’ve been very happy so far,” he said.
“The crowd numbers have been good and our figures are showing things are at least on par with last year so far.
“We had a really good New Year’s Eve crowd for the fireworks and the restaurant was completely booked out.
“Our live entertainment seems to be bringing in good crowds each night and already the couple of ski shows we’ve had have been really well received.”
Mr Duncan said he expected the positive trend to continue with big events throughout January.
“We do expect to stay busy from now until the end of the holiday period. Everything has been good so far; the crowds have all been having a good time and very well behaved so overall I’d have to say we are very happy.”
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