Snow businesses rejoicing as they prepare for more winter weather

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February 26, 2013, 5:56 pm
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(NECN: Amy Sinclair, Portland, Maine) – Some northern New England businesses are welcoming the next round of snow.

As public works crews prepare to do battle with the next round of snow in Northern New England, those in the snow business are rejoicing.

The big storms and reliable snow pack this season have been a boon for businesses that depend solely on Mother Nature to deliver the goods.

At the Harris Farm X country Ski Center in Dayton, Maine, they say business has been brisk since the end of December.

"We started the Friday after Christmas. It was a magnificent start and we've just built on that ever since," says the center's owner Bill Harris.

Last year, with less than 30 inches of snow, Harris says the ski center opened for just 21 days.

Weak snow seasons affect their bottom line in many ways. Not only do they lose the ticket sales and rental income, they still have to pay the farm staff year round and rely on the foot traffic generated by skiers and snowshoers to buy other farm goods like milk and maple syrup.

"The x country skiing is quite important because it allows us to have a multi generational farm without family having to work off the farm. That's unusual for Southern Maine," notes Harris.

And at outdoor adventure retail stores including Eastern Mountain Sports, they say the steady snow has encouraged more people to buy their own gear rather than rent or put it off.

"The multiple storms have definitely thinned out our ski rack which is what we like to see" says ski and bike technician Jake Beaton. "People want to get outdoors and play and that's what drives our business."

So far this year, Portland has seen more than 80 inches of snow.

Last year, Maine's largest city saw less than 29 inches and most of that fell before Christmas.

Tags: weather, New England, snow, Skiing, businesses , Portland Maine, Amy Sinclair, snowshoe, harris farm x country ski center, Dayton maine, bill harris, jake beaton
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