BURNSVILLE, Minnesota (WCCO) – Minnesota has had a taste of snow this season and families are getting ready for winter.
The same goes for places specializing in frozen pleasure. Snow is starting to appear on Minnesota ski trails, from Lutsen on the North Coast to Buck Hill in the Twin Cities.
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Not only are ski resorts expecting another busy season, but retailers are also connected to winter sports.
At Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis, the racks are full, but consumers are told it won’t stay that way for long.
Director Steve Schrader says people should start shopping now as demand remains as high as last winter, when the pandemic rekindled many Minnesotans’ love of the outdoors.
This time, there are also supply chain issues. Currently, the store only has about 50% of its racket stock, for example.
“There’s a chance that once it passes, we won’t be able to get it back again,” Schrader said.
Once the Minnesotans receive their new winter gear, they won’t have to wait long to don it at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. The snow cannons are expected to activate over the weekend, turning the golf course into a winter wonderland for cross-country skiers.
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“Our programs have generated a lot of interest for the winter season, many of them are already full,” said Robert Ibler, trail director of the Loppet Foundation. “We expect it to be very busy this winter as well. “
Down in Burnsville in Buck Hill, there’s already a wave of excitement as the snow cannons exploded Thursday night.
“It’s one of the happiest days of the year,” said Dave Solner, owner of Buck Hill.
The ski resort has a new snowmaking system that Solner says can pump 5,000 gallons per minute when operating at full capacity.
“This is double what we have had in the past two years,” he said.
The system should keep Buck Hill covered in snow for longer periods. Like others in the outdoor recreation industry, Solner expects another busy season. He says season ticket sales are on the rise this year.
Buck Hill and Theodore Wirth Park both plan to open their ski areas after Thanksgiving. They just need a little help from Mother Nature, especially the daytime temperatures below zero. This will speed up the snowmaking process.
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