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Continued: South-metro cities are feeling winter weary

  • Article by: GRAISON HENSLEY CHAPMAN  , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 11, 2014 - 12:43 PM

Even the walking trails have been more difficult to plow. At this point in the season, the managers surveyed said the snow is piled too high on the sides of trails to plow. “Snowblowers [are] the only way through them this year,” said Lakeville’s Grossman. Despite the weather, he said the city has been able to keep all but one section of its paths clear of snow, though it has taken longer to clear them.

At Buck Hill, the cold has kept people off the slopes.

“There’s just so much pent-up demand,” said Don McClure, the ski hill’s general manager. “Our bigger days are bigger than they’ve ever been, and our slower days are slower.” Despite the swings in attendance, prescheduled school groups and racing events have provided consistent attendance, and “gross receipts are about even,” he said.

One benefit of the weather: With consistent snow, Buck Hill has “saved a considerable amount of money” by not having to use an artificial snowmaker. And with warmer weather, McClure expects good business this month.

Back in Lakeville, Grossman is preparing for when the piled snow finally melts. Last week, his staff started clearing the ice from curb grates. If they’re still frozen when the snow thaws, he said, the streets might flood.

“We’re hoping for a slow melt,” he said.

 

Graison Hensley Chapman is a Northfield freelance writer.

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