Charles Anton

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Tony Sponar and Charles Anton

Charles Anton, a friend of Tony Sponar’s also became interested in the idea of a ski resort at Thredbo and in 1955 they formed a syndicate to start the work and secure a lease from the Kosciuszko State Park. This syndicate was called “The Kosciusko Chairlift and Thredbo Hotel”.

It was Anton’s mission to secure the funding and he approached people such as LJ Hooker and Reg Ansett in order to get started. It was Andrew Thyne Reid who had expressed interest, investing 6000 pounds and joining the syndicate. In September of 1955 Sponar skied to the top of Crackenback Peak and decided this was to be the spot. This is now where the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift runs.

Two T-bars are named after these two founding members, Sponars and Antons. There is a plaque dedicated to Charles Anton on the rock face at the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift. A chair from the original chairlift is on display at Crackenback Cottage.

The original residents and organizers were from a variety of European countries bringing their knowledge, expertise and traditions to this new sport in Australia. In 1959 Sasha’s Lodge opened and was run by Tony Sponar’s old friends, Karel and Sasha Nekvapil.

In 1961 Kosciusko Thredbo Ltd’s lease was taken over by Lend Lease who continued to develop Thredbo into a picturesque village. Two years after this, the Thredbo Alpine Hotel was opened. The Lodge, which the Sponars ran, became staff accommodation. In 1977 Antons T-bar was opened and two years later, Karels and Sponars T-bars.

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online