Throwback Thursday - No Snow ‘97
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -
Given the lack of snowfall in Aroostook County so far this winter, snowmobiling in Aroostook county has yet to officially kick off. With many trails still closed, it’s a disheartening sight for those who enjoy the sport. And of course, this isn’t the first time this has happened in the County. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard looked back in our archives and found a story done 26 years ago, when the County faced the same problem.
26 years ago on January 4th of 1997 WAGM Reporter Tricia Lawrence reported on an unusual phenomena in Aroostook County, a snowmobile season that hadn’t started yet. Much like the situation we’re currently experiencing, there was significant concern for business owners that rely on the snowmobile tourism industry and trails of Aroostook County. We’ll take you back to 1997 in this weeks “Throwback Thursday”:
Unusual weather conditions have snowmobile enthusiasts disappointed because they can’t enjoy the thrills of snowmobiling.
“Normally we can all leave our homes and hit the fields and hit the various trails around, and we can’t do that now without potentially damaging your sled.”
But those who make a living from the popular sport have other, more serious concerns.
“Last year from Christmas day to new years day was the busiest week I had, this year from Christmas week to new years, there was nobody here. This year I’ll do anything to put bread on the table, I’ll repair cars, I’ll do whatever I gotta do to make a dollar, but with snowmobiles right now, we’re starving.”
Its not only the snowmobile dealers feeling the effects of the lack of snowfall, here in Ashland at the four seasons inn this parking lot is usually packed with snowmobiles this time of year.
“In the wintertime you could kind of compare us to bar harbor in the summer. If we don’t get the snowmobilers there really is not much business here. I would say right now that our business is probably down, I would dare say about 75% over what were last year at this time.”
Reservations for snowmobilers out of the area have been put on hold, but for the die hard county snowmobilers where there’s a will there’s a way.
“There’s no place to go here, that’s why we’re going up in the woods, we have a camp about 35 miles west of here and there’s a lot more snow up there.”
But for people out of state?
“God bless them. Come on up anyways, spend your money”
There’s snow in the forecast, so industry officials are crossing their fingers, hoping its enough to groom the 1700 miles of trails in time to salvage what’s left of this year’s season.
Tricia Lawerance, NewsSource
Copyright 2023 WAGM. All rights reserved.