The ability to think outside the box in a COVID-dominated world has allowed Jason Stone to secure the short-term future of Stoney Park.
With waterskiing events few and far between over the last two years, the former pro water-skier had to contemplate ways to keep his business ticking over.
It was how an unofficial merger with waterski clubs from Sydney and Newcastle was founded that benefits both parties after they signed up to become members of the park.
They can now access the world-renowned facility as they please - pending stay-at-home orders.
"A couple of major ski club sites had to close down because of public water rules (relating to) where they were," Mr Stone said.
"It meant they were unable to run their clubs anymore, so we effectively took an opportunity there where we already had an audience. These were all competition skiers and families that did the trick, slalom and jump skiing that we generally house for."
The result was an annual membership where they can bring their own boat and ski and train themselves.
The clubs can now drive their own boats on the ski lake which frees up Mr Stone to run the rest of the park which also has the much-loved Aqua Park on the other man-made lake.
Previously it was just the one boat which could utilise the ski lake and the driver was often a skier who preferred to train where possible.
"COVID affected my international staff and they were all world-class competitors who wanted to train four or five sessions a day as well," Mr Stone said.
"So you've got to think outside the box and try and figure out another way to utilise your facilities where you can still generate income and still keep your customers happy.
"That's better than saying 'the lake is completely closed, we've got no ski school and we've got no ski memberships'. It would just be a water body sitting there."
After an interrupted season last summer, it became obvious the decision to open the ski lake to the clubs from Sydney and Newcastle could have ultimately saved the business.
"We were pushed into a position where we had to make a decision and it was either fly or die; it was going to be one or the other," Mr Stone said.
"So when we did put it out there we were surprised with the uptake that it had and the enthusiasm it had with how quickly people wanted to get on board and get a spot before we maxed out with memberships.
"We had to really rethink the way we were going to try to utilise the lake within the guidelines of the COVID restrictions with being limited with the amount of family members who can be in the one spot."
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