A secure snow season and increased investment for bushwalking trails would go a long way to helping promote Ben Lomond as a year-round destination.
That's the view of Northern Midlands mayor Mary Knowles, an avid bushwalker herself and someone who lives close to the foot of the mountain on the southern side.
While Ben Lomond sits in the Northern Midlands municipality, the council doesn't have any ownership of the mountain's development, other than as an advocate.
Councillor Knowles said the council ensured Ben Lomond featured in its strategic plans and future development plans and it always had the mountain in its planning documents.
Still, it doesn't contribute any funding towards realising those goals.
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The Nprthern Midlands Council it doesn't have jurisdiction over the management or development of Ben Lomond; that responsibility mostly falls to Parks and Wildlife.
Cr Knowles said in her opinion, Ben Lomond's potential was not being fully realised, and there were some relatively inexpensive steps and actions PWS could take to improve the experience.
"We are definitely supportive of the new public shelters, to build something to get people out of the elements when they need to," she said.
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"But we would like to see increased visitation, especially over the summer period."
When asked if the mountain was living up to its potential, Cr Knowles said "no way".
An avid bushwalker herself, Cr Knowles has walked up the many bushwalking trails on the southern side of the mountain, but she said many had been left overgrown.
Years ago, when she moved to Tasmania, Cr Knowles said she remembered being able to take groups of school children to the Craggy Bluff walk, but now it's impossible.
"The markers are hard to find, they haven't been maintained, and a lot of the track is overgrown, it's not easily accessible anymore," she said.
While she couldn't vouch for the trails on the ski village side of the mountain, Cr Knowles said it was pretty standard for the southern tracks to be overgrown.
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The Northern Midlands Council notes Ben Lomond in its strategic projects documents from 2019, which outlines several vital projects the council would like to see.
Most stem from the 2015 Ben Lomond feasibility study, which was developed by the volunteer-run Ben Lomond committee in conjunction with the council.
"The walking and cycling trails on Ben Lomond are rudimentary and in desperate need of upgrading," the strategic projects document reads.
The council last year was seeking funding partners to implement the recommendations of the feasibility study entirely, and to lobby for the purchase of another 10 snow cannons, to secure the winter season for at least 12 weeks each year.
Last year, the council prepared a pitch to the state government to establish Ben Lomond as the next Tasmanian iconic walk, which ultimately failed.
However, Cr Knowles said she still hoped to see investment from the government to establish a walk on Ben Lomond.
She said part of that strategy would be to increase the options of walks around Tasmania, to spread tourists to various walks and not condense them to one place.
"That will help to minimise the impact on the environment," she said.
Despite wishing to see more investment in bushwalking, Cr Knowles said the council was of the opinion that snowmaking was crucial for Ben Lomond's longevity.
The strategic projects document seeks investment of 10 snow cannons for Ben Lomond to help extend and guarantee the snow season.
Snow cannons would guarantee a snow season for about 12 weeks of the year, Cr Knowles said.
She said snow cannons were crucial and were used even on peaks in Canada that were subject to large volumes of snowfall, unlike Ben Lomond.
The snow season on Ben Lomond is patchy at best and varies year on year. This year it was the shortest season in many years, compounded by lack of tourists due to COVID.
While there is limited snowmaking ability on Ben Lomond, with guns purchased by Ben Lomond Snow Sports, the operators say red tape stops them from regular use.
Cr Knowles said the council was also working on a future planning document, which will be made public in a few months, which features more plans for Ben Lomond.