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Snomo trail grooming

impacts entire economy

Now that the winter recreation season has been going strong for more than a month, it is time for business owners in communities across the North Woods to think about investing in the future — to commit funds that will help nonprofit organizations with the costs of repairing, rerouting and grooming snowmobile trails in the months and years to come.


What a difference a year makes. At this time last year, trail grooming was just beginning in what was the slowest start to the season since extensive trail systems were first developed in the 1970s. But this year, sledders are experiencing one of the best starts ever.


Many business owners who struggle with our seasonal tourism

fluctuations may take for granted this year-around economy, never having experienced the ghost-town winters of the 1950s and 1960s. It was snowmobiling in the 1970s and then the boom years of cross-country skiing in the 1980s, that changed everything. For the first time, many businesses found it feasible to stay open in winter.



Though you might think the opposite is true, last year’s low-snow winter was extremely tough on grooming organizations because they didn’t get the mileage revenue necessary to cover fixed expenses, including payments on equipment. This year, some groups have some catching up to do.


Many businesses don’t even bother to respond to solicitations from snowmobile clubs that are looking for funds to support the grooming operations. Believe it or not, some business owners think they don’t reap any benefits from winter tourism that is sparked by the enormous, well-groomed snowmobile trail network in this area.


The truth be told, almost every business in northern Wisconsin benefits directly or indirectly because of the trail grooming. The money spent by snowmobilers in winter boosts the entire economy, giving those businesses and employees directly affected more money to spend in the community, where it changes hands over and over.


Some will donate more than others, of course, but remember that donations would not have to be extremely burdensome if all businesses would kick in something.

Ministry Health, sponsors

make challenge possible

This newspaper issue marks the kickoff of our Fit For Life Health & Fitness Challenge, a friendly contest in which a record 12 contestants will utilize YMCA of the Northwoods?trainers and nutrition experts with the goal of losing weight and inches.


The program was made possible this year by a new major sponsor, Ministry Health, as well as other businesses and organizations that will provide individual sponsorships for the contestants over the 12-week run.


We want to thank Ministry Health for its civic-minded support of a truly community event — a partnership between contestants and sponsors with a focus on better health. We also want to thank YMCA of the Northwoods for making available its expert trainers and spacious facilities, for without that, we couldn’t run the program.


Behind the editorial ‘we’


Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:49 AM
Last Updated on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:07 AM

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