The Winter That Wasn't

 It's being called the "winter that wasn't." It was mild, snow was rare, and ice was thin. It's left winter weather-dependent businesses and industries in Maine devastated.

"We definitely took a pretty hard hit," said Chris Carleton, co-owner of Allspeed Cyclery and Snow in Portland.

He estimates winter sales were down at least 30 percent this year.

"People just weren't thinking about skiing," he said.

The winter weather never truly arrived this year - and neither did many customers.

Allspeed is now switching gears and tuning up bikes.

"Winters like this past winter scare me," said semi-professional skier Ben Leoni.

Professional skiers, small business owners, scientists, and city leaders gathered at Allspeed for a natural resources council press conference, urging action on climate change legislation and support of the clean power plan.

"Climate change is not just about less snow and less ice, it's about less predictability," said Todd Martin from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

They say climate change, coupled with El Nino, has brought the warmest winter on record, cancelled dozens of winter events and fundraisers in maine, and devastated regions dependent on winter recreation.

Bait shops hurt by a bad winter are finally busy again.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced Thursday marks the start of open water fishing, two weeks earlier than usual.

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