Little snow affects business across the area

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The lack of snow this season has put a damper on plans for snowmobilers, skiers, and businesses who rely on selling snow-related items.

"Usually by this point in the season we've plowed quite a bit more than we have. Right now we’ve plowed four events so far, usually we are at eight to ten at this time, so we are down quite a bit,” said Project Manager with Rainmaster Lawn Systems Brian Gilbert.

Snow plows resting in the parking lot at Rainmasters in Eau Claire, means less money for the business and many of its employees.

"We use snow removal in the winter time just to kind of help to get our salary guys through the winter. If we have a good winter it really helps to carry us over into the next year,” said Gilbert.

And while some rely on removing the freshly fallen snow, many business around town depend on it staying put.

"The entire industry as a whole has been down. And I can imagine most snowmobile dealers are feeling the same way we are,” said Bruce Scherlin, sales specialist at Zacho Sports Center.

"There is an obvious slight economic downturn to not having snow; it is one of the things people look forward to in Wisconsin in the winter time,” said Michael Strubel, Director of Sales and Events at Visit Eau Claire.

But even with a lack of snow, there is a silver lining.

"Typically by Thanksgiving we are all done for the year. This year we worked well into December installing irrigation systems, so there is a little bit of tradeoff there,” said Gilbert.

"People are thinking early, they're thinking Spring,so our motorcycles sales have gone up,” said Scherlin.

“Every year we just hope to have a little bit more than we did last year, so we can bring more people in and snow them our incredible area,” said Strubel.

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