Businesses look forward to snowier snowmobile season

Snowmobilers around the state are hopeful this year's season will be better than last year's. Businesses who rely on feeding them are even more hopeful.

The parking lot at Franklin's restaurant in Proctor is full with cars -- a sight any business owner would be happy to see, but co-owner Frank Beyette was hoping for it to be filled with something else.  "They come right around the corner there and they come right here and circle up road and park right here on top," he said.

The Route 4 corridor snowmobile trail runs right by Beyette's restaurant, bringing in an extra 25-percent of business each winter.  "It doesn't matter if it's a weekend or a week night -- instead of driving here they ride their sleds here," Beyette said.

But Thursday night's snowfall of 3.5 inches wasn't enough to bring a scene like the one from back in 2014 when snow was good and snowmobilers abounded.

"Normally early season riding, especially in lower elevations, isn't that good," said Merritt Budd, Rutland County Director for VAST -- the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers.

"Every time we get snow, it warms up 40 degrees and rains. so it takes it away. So I would like it to get cold and stay cold -- have the snow stay," Beyette said.

According to VAST, 12 inches of packed snow is the ideal for riding. Riders say current conditions like those in Proctor could do damage to you and your sled. "There could be brooks that are open, there could be rocks under the snow, there could be ice under the snow with just a little bit of snow on it and you could slip," Beyette said.

Snowmobilers and business owners like Beyette are hoping Mother Nature will soon bring more snow and cover the trails completely.

Source : Taylor Young, WCAX
Date : 2017-01-07

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