Photo by Lauren Beckingham
McCauley Mountain saw its last sunny ski day on April 2 this year, quite a difference from last year’s closing.
By AMANDA DESHAW
For The Express
This winter season was hands down better than last year, with snow forecasted almost daily that kept the snowmobile trails and McCauley Mountain in good shape. There is also no denying the last hurrah of three feet of snow we received made a great impact too. Mike Farmer, who heads up the publicity department for the Town of Webb, reported that this winter was amazingly different from last year.
“This year we were on track to exceed sales of any previous years before in trail permits until we had the big thaw,” said Farmer.
Even with the ups and downs that we had this season, the information center had an increase in sales of trail permits of 25 percent.
“We saw this season many pre-season trail permits were purchased because everyone felt starved out from last winter that turned out to be such bust. There were even days that 100s of trail permits were sold,” said Farmer.
Farmer felt that the town did so well because as soon as the area receives snow the crew that maintains the trails are out there prepping and doing everything in their power to make a good base that will give the snowmobile season longevity.
“The trail grooming crew knows the best way to keep the trails in good condition and keep doing it year after year after year, they are ready when the snow comes and by doing this keeps us in business longer,” said Farmer.
McCauley Mountain reported having a much better winter than last year. Steve Uzdavinis, who manages the mountain, reports that they had at least a 30 percent increase over last year. “We had a wonderful year with some big profile events like the Winter Carnival that still brought people to town when the snowmobiling wasn’t so great and the big shot of snow we received at the end pumped some life back into our skiers,” said Uzdavinis.
When people come to visit the town they need a place to stay and also frequent the local hospitality businesses, the consensus from the owners of such establishments is that it was a good winter season.
Steve Hoepfl, owner of Christy’s Motel, said this year was, without a doubt, significantly financially better and even described it as phenomenal.
“This winter’s weather had dramatic swings, it would go from good to zero quickly, it was a much warmer winter than the previous year. Last year’s average temperature for January-March was in the teens where as this year the average temperature was about 23 degrees and with limited frost in the ground to hold a base, it made daily snow essential,” said Hoepfl.
Big Moose is one of the main destinations for snowmobilers who come to the area. Patrick Duffy, owner of Duffy’s at the Glenmore, weighed in on how he felt the season went.
“We had a great start to the season, which was awesome after last winter. Much better season than last year but it was like Mother Nature threw the switch on winter. With all the snow I was confident we would be riding right until the very end. It would have been great if it could have hung on through March but the weather is out of our control. The snow storm in late March was a wonderful bonus, the weather is out of our control and several people took advantage of it,” said Duffy.
Last year’s snowfall total for Old Forge was 78.9” and this year so far we have received an astounding 151.7” of snow, That is a difference of 72.8” which is almost double the total of what we received last year. There is no doubt that the difference in snowfall made for a great season for businesses in the area.
Thankfully Mother Nature took mercy on area businesses this year after such a flop last season.