Snow boon for manyPublished 11:03am Thursday, February 14, 2013
With four to five inches of snow falling Wednesday on a one-foot base, and partly sunny skies predicted for the weekend, many are revving up to get outdoors, and everyone is moving snow out of the way.
“The Otter Trail Riders said the trail is in the best condition they’ve seen so far this year,” said Nicole Lalum, director of sales at Thumper Pond Resort in Ottertail. “Being right on the snowmobile trail, we get a lot of people stopping in the restaurant.”
Rooms fill up too as snowmobilers finally get out for a good ride this season.
“We’ve had an increase of guests because of specials going on for the winter, but we’ve also had calls from people asking about snowmobiling and cross-county skiing conditions,” said Malinda Dexter in the Thumper Pond reservations department.
T and B Short Stop in Ashby, located near the Central Lakes Trail, has seen an increase in business.
“We’ve seen a little bit more traffic, and I think we’ll see a lot this weekend,” said owner Todd Finkelson. “It’s a convenient place for snowmobilers to stop and gas up or get a quick meal.”
Even those that had all but given up on getting their sled out this season are tuning up for what should be a great winter weekend.
“Early last fall we had good sales, then January things dried up until two weeks ago when we got snow,” said Lee Bakken of Frontier Power Sports in Fergus Falls. “We’ve been busy ever since — in parts and service too.”
David Spidahl, owner of Spidahl Ski Gaard, anticipates a busy upcoming weekend after the snow fall. The challege, however, is getting trails ready on time.
“That much snow is maybe more than we need,” said Spidahl. “I’ve put 220 miles on the snowmobile grooming trails, and now we have four more inches.”
Despite the sudden rush to prepare for coming skiers, Spidahl welcomes more snow and hopes it will extend the season.
“With a really good base you might be able to get an extra weekend out of the season in March, so that’s a positive.”
Andes Tower Hill near Kensington reports that snow conditions are excellent, and all trails are open.
Local retailers are also finding their inventories of snow blowers and shovels quickly decreasing.
“We’ve got a few (snow blowers) left but not a lot,” said Keith Erickson, owner of the Fergus Falls Sears store. “The snow has definitely helped our snowblower sales.”
Snowfall around western Otter Tail County is predicted to clear out by Friday. Saturday should be partly sunny with a high near 16, and Sunday partly sunny with a high near 27, making conditions ideal to get out and ride or ski.
Rian Bosse and Joel Myhre contributed to this story.