Wisconsin- The Midwest has seen an abnormally warm winter, which has resulted in ski areas struggling to stay open. According to the National Weather Service, snowfall statewide is down 20-30 inches compared to the average. In the Lake Superior snowbelt, snowfall is 40-70 inches below the normal totals. Thankfully, help is on the way for the Wisconsin ski industry.

TMJ 4 reports that Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) have announced that outdoor recreational companies in the northern portion of the state are eligible for federal disaster relief loans. Businesses could receive up to $2 million due to the effects of this warm winter on Wisconsin’s outdoor industry.

Over at Sunburst Ski Hill, the struggle has been real this season. They will be closed for the next few days due to warm weather. Jason Wood, general manager of Sunburst Ski Hill, explained to TMJ 4 what these loans could mean for the small ski area:

“Mother Nature has not been nice…It would actually mean a lot. Everybody is down this year across the board.” 

At Scherper’s Outdoor Goods, which has three retail stores in the state, they are reportedly having their worst winter on record. While the loans currently don’t apply to the counties that their stores are situated in, it seems possible that they’ll eventually extend the loan program across the state.  

Nathan Scherper, who’s the owner of Scherper’s Outdoor Goods, explained to TMJ 4 how bad this winter has been for sales, and what a loan would mean for his business:

“It’s probably $200-to-$300,000 worth of stuff that we got that we would sell or still have the chance to sell [is still in the store]Taking a loan out like this would allow us to go out and purchase that product [for next season].”

Image Credits: Sunburst Ski Hill

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