As the days tick down to the much-anticipated opening of the snow season on June 12, it's chefs, food and beverage staff and ski instructors who remain on the "most wanted" list for Thredbo ski resort.
Where the NSW ski slopes usually resound to instructor accents from all over the world, bellowing the common refrain of "bend ze knees", the continued closure of Australia's border to incoming internationals means over 100 regular instructors who "follow the snow" between the northern and southern hemisphere seasons are off the booking sheets.
So, too, are international chefs who do much the same thing, attracted by the lifestyle of skiing by day and working by night in the kitchen.
Planning for another Covid-affected ski season began when the lifts were closed at the end of last season, Thredbo's general manager Stuart Diver says.
With around 750 sub-lessees to manage in the alpine village, staying ahead of the game has been his key business focus.
"We made a decision very early on not to rely on any overseas staff coming in this season," he said.
"We've got a very, very limited number - it would probably be under 10 - staff coming in from overseas and the majority those are Australians returning.
"All of our instructors who are in Europe: none of them made it back.
"But we've been able to source a lot of new local instructors, which has been good."
He said the major focus as the shutout loomed large was to upskill locals to fill the gap.
But this, in turn, begs the obvious question: where did all these new local instructors come from?
"What we found was that there was a lot of young Australians who would look to travel overseas, do their gap year or whatever, and they couldn't go anywhere, either. They're stuck here," Mr Diver said.
"So we've actively tapped into that market; we've reached out to them said, 'Come to Thredbo for four months and work as a ski instructor down here'.
"And we've incentivised it by paying for their instructor training courses and their exams to try and make it attractive for them to do so."
The result, he said, was an instructor pool about 75 per cent the size of a "normal" season.
"And that's a manageable outcome, we think," Mr Diver said.
The tougher shoes to fill were the hospitality staff. But those numbers, too, were slowly filling as the season approaches.
The international border closures have also heightened anticipation for the snow season ahead after what he described as a "massive" summer of mountain biking.
"We're barely out of a very busy summer and now we're looking ahead to a very busy winter," Mr Diver said.
As part of the Event Group of hotels and cinemas, Thredbo is one of the few elements to the company which didn't take a huge Covid-related financial hit, with last year's ski resort income only down around 15 per cent on 2019.
"Having a captive market, with people unable to go overseas skiing, there's a huge demand for this season. It's looking great," he said.
Season passes have sold out and day passes were capped in number, with peak periods certain to sell out.
This year's one-day peak season adult pass is $164 a day. Teenagers 13 to 17 are $99 a day and children aged five to 12, $89.
Internal spaces at the resort will be limited to 70 per cent capacity this season, with social distancing still in place on NSW health guidelines and the wearing of masks in public spaces recommended.
"Our approach to operating will be a conservative and flexible one and we've got a number of contingency plans ready in case things change as the season goes on," Mr Diver said.
"It's the only sensible way to approach it given things can change pretty quickly, as was shown by the latest lockdown in Victoria."
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