Warm Winter weather wearing down local businesses with no snow
With the warm Winter weather, there hasn’t been enough snow for local businesses making a profit selling skis & snowboards. How have small businesses selling winter recreation gear managed to cope with the lack of sales? We spoke with several shops in the Twin Ports Area to hear how businesses have managed to stay afloat.
Mark Aslum, the service manager at Continental Ski and Bikes, said their fat bikes have been selling well. The fat bike sales have helped offset some of the delayed sales for skis and snowshoes.
“I know we probably were about three or four weeks behind our typical bar. Early first few weeks in November were a little slower for us than normal,” Aslum said. “Now that we got a little snow, even the manmade snow, we’ll see a bump in that traffic.”
Aslum said even with the manmade snow at the ski resorts, it still isn’t bringing more customers buying ski equipment.
“We haven’t really seen the numbers that we typically see coming in the winter. Honestly, if we could get a good 6 to 8 inch snow, that would be best case scenario,” Aslum said. “Hopefully snow’s coming. Pray for snow.”
Steven Holappa, the general manager at Play it Again Sports, said the warm winter weather hasn’t significantly impacted their business.
“The cross-country ski, snowboard, snowshoe equipment sales, we’re waiting for that first snowfall,” Holappa said. “We do have some customers that are preparing for the snow because we know it’s coming. It just might be a little later than usual. But the outside skating aspect has actually been pretty good to start with.”
Holappa said most of their sales this season have been hockey equipment, because they rely more on ice than snow.
“We’re lucky because we have the hockey aspect, but if we strictly relied on the snow, I think we’d feel it a little bit more. I feel bad for Continental and Ski Hut,” Holappa said. “They need that snow and the artificial stuff just isn’t quite enough.”
For more information about how warm winter weather is impacting local businesses you can look at the Duluth chamber of commerce. Also for more information about how the warm winter weather has been impacting ski resorts you can read more here.