When the federal government announced plans for the Snowy 2.0 project in the Snowy Mountains, people in Tumut held their breath.
But nearly a year on, many in the small alpine town are still waiting for the benefits - if any - of the follow to Australia's most ambitious energy infrastructure project.
Publican Maureen Dehnert, who owns Tumut's Woolpack Hotel, said business is the worst it's ever been.
"It's very, very quiet," Ms Dehnert said.
She said there would be little flow on from Snowy 2.0 for Tumut, with the hydro plant on the far side of the mountains, closer to Cooma.
She said a lot of younger people in town were leaving for cities to find work.
"There's a lot more opportunity in the city," Ms Dehnert said.
But she said business tended to pick up over summer, with visitors heading to the nearby Blowering or Talbingo dams for water sports.
Across the road from Ms Dehnert's pub, Matthew Lucas, one of the owners of the Coffee Pedaler cafe, is a bit more optimistic about Snowy 2.0.
"It isn't going to be a rags to riches story, no, but you're going to do alright," Mr Lucas said.
Mr Lucas' cafe has been trading for nearly two years.
"Being a new business, we're still experiencing growth but given that, there's only a certain number of people to pull from."
For his part, Mr Lucas has hopes to set up a shipping container cafe at the Snowy 2.0 work site.
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But he said trades businesses in Tumut were too small to win major contracts, besides a few local transportation businesses.
Besides, if Snowy 2.0 took too many people away for work, there would be no one to work in Tumut, Mr Lucas said.
Ray White real estate's Tumut principal Ray Piper said they had started to see a trick of interest in the town, mainly from Sydneysiders reaching the end of their working life.
He said when Snowy 2.0 was first announced, rental prices in the region sky rocketed.
"There was certainly a big hype on that Talbingo market after the announcement," Mr Piper said. "There was one house up there that was being lease for $700 a week, but it was a $180,000 investment.
"We've seen some silly rents up there for a short while. The dust has settled a bit."
Mr Piper said locals had started to resign themselves to the fact the project wouldn't have a massive impact on the town.
"I think there's still a lot of uncertainty about where this project's going to take us," he said. "It's a positive thing for the region."
David Swan, who owns the clothing shop Swans of Tumut, said he'll take the benefits of Snowy 2.0 it as they come.
He had supplied hi-vis workwear to a few local Tumut contractors who did traffic control for the project.
"It's just another avenue of business," Mr Swan said.
"I think a lot of the contractors will be from outside [Tumut] ... a lot of it will go Cooma way."
"It's really hard for me to say."
If Snowy 2.0 did mean big business for the town, the local hospitality industry would benefit, Mr Swan said.