After more than a decade spent weathering cold winters at the top of Tasmania's second highest peak, retailers at the ski village on Ben Lomond will never get sick of one thing - seeing the joy on people's faces.
As Tasmania's only ski-field-quality mountain, Ben Lomond is home to a small ski village and is supported by retailers such as Ben Lomond Snow Sports, a ski hire and lessons shop, and Alpine Enterprises, who operate the seven ski lifts on the mountain.
Supported by Parks and Wildlife rangers, along with the paid mid-week ski patroller and weekend ski patrol volunteers, life at the top of the peak can be challenging, when faced with frigid winters, injuries, and even the logistics of living life in snow-covered houses, such as frozen water pipes and slippery boardwalks.
But the tourism operators on the mountain are still passionate about their peak, and say the joy on families' faces when they travel up Jacob's Ladder to the top for some snow play is the best feeling.
Ben Lomond has been hit a double whammy this year, in the worst season the operators have faced for a number of years.
Snow has fallen late this year, and has only been deep enough to have the lifts operating for three days in winter.
Not only that, but border restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge chunk out of Ben Lomond's bread and butter - interstate and international tourists.
Ben Lomond Snow Sports owner Felicity Foot said visitation numbers had been down this year, thanks to both the pandemic and weather factors, but there had been an uptick in new citizens.
"There have been a lot of new citizens coming up to see snow for the first time and that's so amazing to see," she said.
Predicting snowfall on Ben Lomond is a bit like predicting the winning Tattslotto numbers, but for the most part, the last four seasons have been positive, Mrs Foot said.
However, the tourism operators say now is the right time to talk about future renewal of the mountain, to make way for the next generation of snow-loving, peak-loving operators.
They say a single owner-operator could help bring all the leases together and create a cohesive experience for guests. And the time is ripe for all levels of government to provide investment and a strong management plan for the future of this alpine wonderland.
Alpine Enterprises general manager Kate Williams took over the business from her father, who established it in 1973.
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Ms Williams joined the business in 1987, but says now looking forward to hanging the reins over to someone new.
"There is a lot of potential here, and it took me a long time to figure out if I was ready to hand over the mantle to someone else," she said.
Alpine Enterprises is for sale, with an expression of interest point of $1.75 million. Ms Williams said her agent had been in active negotiations with a number of interested parties.
However, COVID-19 had put a bit of a halt to those proceedings.
"Although, thanks to Tasmania and Australia doing so well with COVID-19, what we are seeing is that investors are looking favourably to Tasmania due to its relative isolation," she said.
"It's looking like they are seeing it in a positive light and a good place to invest for the future."
Ms Williams has skin in the game to see investment in the mountain improve the visitor experience as she will still have property there.
She says the time is right for someone with the nous to make a go of the multitude of year-round opportunities the mountain offers.
In terms of her own business, the first step would be to improve accessibility by adding chair lifts.
"Ben Lomond does lack infrastructure for mobility access, you have to be able to get around to enjoy it," she said.
"We know there is more snow over the ridges but we can't get people there [who aren't skiers] because we don't have chairs."
Ms Williams said there was a great opportunity for whoever took over her business to incorporate chairs, and there was even the potential for a gondola, with a licence already in place.
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"I don't think the environmental impact is as great as people fear, but that is only my personal interpretation," she said.
Chair lifts would encourage people with mobility issues to get out and explore the mountain, and it would allow them to be able to "get further than the car park", Ms Williams said.
Berni Einoder AM, retired surgeon, patron of Ben Lomond Ski Patrol and president of the Ben Lomond Committee, said the time was right for the state and federal governments to fund a new initiative that would boost visitation on the mountain all year round.
Investment in those areas would help to market Ben Lomond a year-round destination, which would be more enticing to investors, who might want to purchase the facilities for sale.
A PWS spokeswoman said the department advertised the year-round potential of Ben Lomond, such as bushwalking and rock-climbing, through its social media channels.
Dr Einoder has been a passionate advocate for the mountain and has been calling for more investment for many years.
However, the impact of COVID-19 meant now was the right time to have those discussions for a fifth time, he said.
Ben Lomond is managed by Parks and Wildlife, who support the tourism operators with their facilities. However, the management plan for the national park is 22 years old - established in 1998.
Cumulus Architects have been engaged by PWS to design a new shelter, that will be developed to fill the gap left behind by the Ben Lomond Alpine Hotel, which was destroyed by fire.
The new shelter is expected to be complete by winter 2021, and will provide an entry point to the village through a heated internal area, along with amenities including public toilets.
However, the management plan from 1998 remains the most current statutory document. A spokeswoman from PWS said there were no plans to review the document at this stage.