Weather’s impact on Copper Country economy

Tourism in the Copper Country seems to be directly related to how much snow is on the ground. But even if the snowmobile season is over and groomers won’t be on the trails anymore, the riders are determined to take advantage of any late–arriving snow. Ryan Mosley from Cole Valley, IL says he knows the extra snow is hard on residents who have to shovel it.

“But as far as us adventurous people, we like to have fun and enjoy what they have to offer up here.There’s lots of snow. It’s been absolutely wonderful. A season that started in early December and here it is in April,” Mosley said.

The Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that it has been a down year for tourism because of the heavy snowfall across the country so people won’t have to go far to ride in the snow. Bureau President Dianne Peterson also cites the difficulty of getting approval from private landowners as other reasons for the decline.

“It’s hard to get an allotment to go farther because there are so many landowners. We are a very unusual trail system. We’re one of the few in the state that have so many private landowners,” Peterson said.

But at Mont Ripley, the numbers are much better.

“It’s very positive. I heard a lot of people say “oh more snow” and it is what it is. You can help it. If you can’t control it, you might as well enjoy it,” said Sirdenis.

One benefit for Mont Ripley is that there isn’t a set date for them to close. Instead, it is a joint decision with the crew and Michigan Tech.

“And I talk to the patrol and make sure that it’s in a safe manner. So it’s a group decision. We take a lot of information from a lot of people to make that decision. It’s not “let’s just close” or something like that,” Sirdenis said.

The final open day at Mont Ripley will be next Saturday. Of course, unless we get another snowstorm  then. For ABC 10 CW 5 News Now, I’m Sam Ali.