SOVEREIGN Hill is set to launch the long-term masterplan for the site as a major focus of its 50th birthday celebrations next month.
Ballarat's outdoor museum officially turns 50 on November 29. While how the day itself will be celebrated is yet to be determined due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, one thing that is certain is its future masterplan will be released.
It comes as former Ballarat mayor Craig Fletcher was named as Sovereign Hill's new president after being elected at Monday night's Annual General Meeting.
Marketing manager Mark Hemetsberger said at this stage celebrations would be planned around the release of the masterplan, which had been funded by a $10 million grant from the federal government's National Tourism Icons Program.
HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF SOVEREIGN HILL OVER THE 50 YEARS? SHARE THEM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE
"With the celebrations, it's obviously been really hard, as we're still under restrictions," he said.
"But we're thrilled that we will be open up again on October 31. What we're aiming to do is to launch our masterplan as part of the 50th celebrations. This is our plan for the next 20 years, it's big, bold, ambitious and it's amazing for Ballarat and all of Western Victoria.
"The activities on the day, it's still up in the air as at this stage as it's been really difficult to plan."
Mr Hemetsberger said the whole site was living in hope of Melbourne being released from its restrictions soon.
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"It'll be fantastic when that happens, when it's safe and secure and it allow Melbourne visitors to return," he said.
"With the numbers we've seen, regional Victoria visitors will enable us to keep going, but it's still 85 per cent of the population once Melbourne can travel again.
"We're perusing a gradual reopening, in a safe and secure environment. When Melbourne opens, we'll have more information to make decisions and people can come and have a great time. All signs are positive we are headed in the right direction."
Sovereign Hill will officially reopen for four days on Saturday October 31 to Tuesday November 3 and at this stage, it plans to open on weekends only after that date, for the foreseeable future.
Tickets will be available at $39, children's tickets at $20 and a family of four, five or six at $99 but must be pre-purchased as it will remain a cash-free environment until further restrictions are released. Visitors are also to be capped at 1000 a day.
Chief executive officer Sara Quon said she was confident the community would slowly return.
"We all need to work together as a community as we slowly emerge from a challenging year and resetting our price to be lower is an important part of being there with our community for the phase ahead,"
"After such a turbulent and difficult year, we are excited to welcome visitors back. We know that people want to reconnect with families, friends and loved ones and we are confident Sovereign Hill is a safe and wonderful place to do that."
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