Northland Businesses Getting Hit Hard By Lack Of Snow

By KBJR News 1

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM CDT

Duluth, MN - (Northland's News Center) - A winter of record breaking high temperatures and unusually dry conditions have left many Northland business suffering.

Duluth saw a total of just over five-inches of snow in January...14-point-three inches below the average...leaving many lawns and snowmobiles trails bare.

"A lack of snow, means a lack of snowmobilers, means a lack of business," says President and CEO of Visit Duluth, Terry Mattson.

But despite the lack of snow, the loss of the John Bear Grease Sled Dog Marathon and not having the Super Pipe at Spirit Mountain, President and CEO of Visit Duluth, Terry Mattson, says Duluth's tourism has not suffered.

"The diversity within the Duluth proper; meetings and conventions, the hockey tournaments, the skiing at Spirit Mountain on man-made snow, it's all meeting for a very successful winter actually in terms of the bottom line," Mattson says.

And surprisingly, the warm weather that has cancelled many events and left trails bare may be having a positive impact in other ways

"The temperatures have been warm. Not only does that tend to, in some respects with cleaner roadways, stimulate some travel there for all the attractions and restaurants and lodging, but the warmer temperatures help with skiing," Mattson said.

And while businesses and tourism might not be that impacted in Duluth, here across the bridge in Wisconsin, it's a different story.

"Everybody's business is down. Ours is I'm sure down 20-30-percent anyway since the holidays," says Owner of the Kro Bar in Brule, Dean Baillie.

Dean Baillie, says the lack of snow has severely damaged their bottom line...forcing them to make some tough decisions.

"We have to cut some hours to our employees and have other kinds of events that are more inside rather then outside," Baillie says.

Making a huge impact on businesses that rely on winter travelers to bring in revenue.

Baillie said his parking lot it usually filled with more than 200 snowmobiles during the winter...but with the lack of snow, that number is nearly non-existent.

Written for the web by Danyel Piecek.