A PUSH to boost tourism in Ben Lomond National Park has started as the season's first significant snow covered the ski resort in a blanket of white yesterday.
Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Brian Wightman joined a ski club official to declare the mountain open for business.
Tasmanian Rover Ski Club president Brad Colson said club members had readied the lodge for winter but there was room for many more visitors in the village
Mr Colson said the many volunteer-led lodges and the handful of businesses, including the ski tow business, catered to a dedicated core of customers but much more could be done.
He said the national park with Legges Tor, the state's second highest peak at 1572 metres, could easily attract 20,000 visitors a year, a much bigger number than it now managed.
Mr Wightman said the state government in the past year had replaced the resort's waste water treatment plant at a cost of $350,000 and spent about $30,000 upgrading the access road, to improve visitor numbers.
He said the Parks and Wildlife Service was working closely with the lodges and businesses to improve the terrain and make the park more visitor-friendly.
Mr Wightman said the service was marketing the national park as best it could. But he said the area was already highly accessible and urged Tasmanians and visitors to make full use of it.
Mr Colson said the mountain needed an entrepreneur with ``deep pockets'' to invest in the village.
A business person could take short-term losses to build a business viable into the long term.
He estimated snowfall over Saturday night at five centimetres and said it was a good start for the season but about 50 centimetres was needed for skiing.