The Sydney Ski Club was established in May 1937 by a group of skiing members of the Millions Club in Sydney, and was subsequently incorporated in April 1959 as a company limited by guarantee. The Club celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1997. In the early years of the Club, there was no private accommodation in the mountains available to skiers, so Club members organised regular Club weeks at The Chalet (Charlottes Pass) and other similar places.
With the opening up of Perisher Valley in the 1950's, the Club's members resolved to build their own lodge in the mountains and, in 1954, obtained the lease of a site near the North Perisher Rope Tow which was, at that time, the only lift and the focus of skiing in the valley.
In 1955, the Club built its first lodge in Perisher Valley; this contained 12 beds on the site now occupied by the present lodge. It was organised on a self-help basis with members providing their own food, linen, etc., and members were responsible for the cleaning of the lodge on their departure. The lodge was designed by one of our Club members, Frank Thorp.
The original lodge was the seventh lodge built in Perisher Valley. In order to build the lodge, funds were obtained by the sale of Lodge Memberships (also known as debentures) which were sold to Club members. These debentures carried with them priority booking rights and were transferable between family members. The debentures were repurchased and cancelled by the Club in 1997.
In 1958, the Club decided to obtain land at the then new resort in Thredbo and a large block near the floor of the valley was obtained after an earlier club had been unable to build on the site within the time required. The Sydney Ski Club was then required to commence building within 12 months and, as the Club had not long previously built at Perisher Valley, funds for the development of the site were scarce and, again, money was raised by issuing Lodge Memberships.
The 12 bed lodge, designed by Club member Jim Anderson, was completed in 1961 and, in 1974, a self-contained four bed annex designed principally for weekend accommodation, was added. Like the Perisher Lodge, it was organised on a completely self-help basis with members supplying their own food and linen and being required to look after themselves and the lodge.
In 1962,the Perisher Lodge was destroyed by fire, believed to have started from an electrical fault in the drying room. All that remained were the stone foundations and the wood shed, which also housed the generator. In 1963, the second lodge was built on the same site, incorporating the original stonework. Frank Thorp also designed this lodge.
By 1986, the Thredbo Lodge had begun to show its age which, together with the need to make significant changes because of fire regulations and other Council ordinances, necessitated the building of a new lodge. This also provided the Club with the opportunity of building a larger lodge and increasing the number of beds. At the end of the 1987 season, the Thredbo Lodge was demolished and rebuilt during the summer and opened in May 1988. Another of our Club members, David Jackson, was responsible for design.
For similar reasons, the Perisher Lodge also required major renovations to comply with fire and health regulations, standard bedroom size, etc., and was substantially renovated at the end of the 1996 season, opening in June 1997. The architect for these renovations was again a Club member, John Stokes.