Snow news is good news for some

The forecast for blizzard-like conditions this weekend sends most Minnesotans running for the space heater, but for others, the promise of snow is welcomed news.

"A lot of snowmobilers like to hear it’s going to snow," Doug Anderson, a Marshall snowmobiler and trail coordinator for the Southwest Ridgerunners snowmobile club, said. "It’s not good for everybody, but we like it. It’s good for the trails."

The National Weather Service estimates that between 4 and 7 inches of snow could fall across the region this weekend. For some local businesses, a snowy December can mean a boon for business.

"With snow on the ground sales of snowmobiles pick up," Chris Zent, an employee of Action Sports in Marshall, said. "It can be fun when snow is on the ground because people want to go out and play in it."

Employees at Action Sports said sales of snowmobiles and four-wheelers increase when winter kicks into high gear. Customers often buy four-wheelers with tracks to use for hunting and ice fishing, Zent said, and others put a blade on the front for plowing.

Sales have been comparable to last year at this time, he said, when heavy snowfall in December combined with subzero temperatures in January meant snowmobilers could use the trails all season.

This year is starting off with similar weather, a welcome change to the dismal snow conditions in years prior.

"We have snow on the ground and more coming this weekend," Zent said. "This year is looking good. It’s been a long time since we’ve had good snow like this."

Bill Ziegenhagen at Marshall Small Engine, Inc. has seen a similar trend in sales. Snowmobilers who sold off their equipment during the low snowfall years are coming back to look, he said.

"The first year after a long drought like we had people are still hesitant to buy," Ziegenhagen said. "To have another year back to back really helps that."

Ross Antworth nominated at SledMagazine.com