Abandoned alpine chalet to be restored

The century-old Mount Buffalo Chalet in the Victorian Alps may be partly demolished in an effort to return the once-gracious hotel to its former glory.

The state government plans to contribute $3.5 million to a $7.5 million fund for restoring the hotel – once boasted as “largest and most luxurious resort of its type in Victoria and possibly Australia” – which has been empty since 2007. It plans to open the resort by 2015 as a visitor centre and café in an effort to attract private investors to reinvigorate the hotel.

The chalet was operated privately until 1924 when was run by the Railways Department and then the Tourist Commission before being leased privately again in 1993. It closed in 2007 following bushfires in the area.

Victorian government, land management policy executive director Peter Beaumont said the decision to demolish the buildings had not been taken lightly but “to restore the core of the chalet to its former glory”.

More than half of the funds will be from an insurance payment received for Cresta Lodge after the 2006 fires.

The works are expected to begin late this year includes the demolition of accommodation buildings at the rear of the chalet.

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