Business Owners: Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!


By Scott Atkinson

The field in the town of Champion that usually serves as a vital snowmobile trail linking Carthage to the Tug Hill was nothing more than a snow dusted cornfield this weekend.

With only a few inches of accumulated snow so far this season, snowmobilers are no where to be seen, and local businesses across the board are hurting.

"We don't usually get the bulk of our snowmobilers before Christmas, but we do have snowmobilers right after hunting season, and we've had about one day of snow where we've had a few sledders so far," said Sue Lucas, owner of the Montague Inn.

"Usually we have a lot of local sledders, but we also get sleds from Rochester, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, all over," said Tracy McCarty, owner of the Buffalo Inn, which sits on the trail in the Town of Champion.

The Buffalo Inn is usually packed with snowmobilers on the weekend. But, it was almost completely empty Sunday.

For businesses that depend on snowmobilers, there is not much that can be done when there is no snow.

The Dry Hill Ski Area can make its own snow though, if it needs to.

Dry Hill has been able to create about a foot of base snow since Thursday, and opened for the first time this season Sunday.

"This cold came in and we pounded a bunch of snow last night and got a trail open," said the Dry Hill Ski Area's Tim McAtee.

"Considering how mild the weather has started out, we're real happy to be open," he said.

It's been a slow start to the winter business season in the north country. Still, many business owners seem to be optimistic.

"We're hoping for a good crowd because there seems to be a lot of pent up enthusiasm to get out on the slopes," McAtee said.

The north country may be short on snow right now, but it is only mid-December. There are still three months left of a Northern New York winter for the snow to fall.



Sunday, December 4, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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