Winter activities suffering in Marathon Co. - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Winter activities suffering in Marathon Co.


While it may look and feel like winter in central Wisconsin, winter activities are off to a slow start in Marathon County.

"The Sylvan Tubing Hill to date, we've had about 1/3 of the use that we had the same period last year," said Bill Duncanson, director of the Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.

2,000 less people have gone to Sylvan Hill this year compared to this time last year. The frigid cold is partly to blame.

"We did lose a couple of days because of weather, it was too cold to safely operate," said Duncanson.

Duncanson said the cold has kept as many people from ice skating at the 400 Block and Thom Field. A lack of wet snow has kept cross country skiing from opening at Sylvan and Nine Mile.

"There's just not enough snow yet," said Duncanson.

It's not just the amount of snow impacting the activities, but the moisture in the snow. So far, it's been dry and fluffy snow instead of heavy, wet snow.

While they may be open up north, snowmobile trails have yet to open in Marathon County.

"Last year we were up and running by this time," said Duncanson. "We're not off to a good start."

Local businesses rely on the snow to keep afloat. Allan Zahrt, co-owner at Pro Motorsports said the weather hasn't impacted his business yet.

"For us, our season is just beginning," said Zahrt. "I looked at our numbers for our last December, Christmas season, it's about the same as we've done other years," said Zahrt.

While it may be a slow start, Zahrt and Duncanson are hopeful the season can turn around.

"W always hope, it's hard to say, it's not unusual at all for us to get January, February, big dumps," said Duncanson. "It's too early to say it's gonna be a failure."

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