Snow storm changes plans of travelers, keeps hotels busy

By: Joe Nelson, Kevin Hurd Email
By: Joe Nelson, Kevin Hurd Email

The sloppy roads changed plans for many looking to avoid slow traffic or getting stuck.

Plows were out throughout the day in Eau Claire, but some with longer trips home, still weren't willing to take the risk.

For Jim and Lori Houghtaling of Menomonie, the road to take lead them to the Americinn Hotel and Suites.

“Road disappears and as it gets dark, of course it gets worse. So we just decided that was not the road to take tonight,” Jim Houghtaling said.

“For the cost of the room, was a lot better just in case we can't make it back tomorrow, then we wouldn't be able to make it back to work.”

They weren’t the only ones changing plans to avoid getting stuck.

“With as much snow as we're going to get and people still have to show up at work, might as well just be really close and not have to drive too far,” Chuck Langland of Americinn said.

“They've been selling very fast tonight. We started off with approximately 20 rooms sold and now four rooms left for the night for a 50 room property.”

The Americinn said they sold out around 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

Eau Claire Street Maintenance Manager Steve Thompson cautioned anyone who does need to travel.

“Look for alternate routes so you can stay away from the steep hills because they can be real trouble spots. Just be safe, plan to take extra time. It's going to take quite a bit of extra time to get where you're going,” Thompson said.

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