Snowmobilers get the green light on trails - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Snowmobilers get the green light on trails


Eau Claire (WQOW) - With Eau Claire county snowmobile trails now open, businesses are hoping to cash in on customers going for a ride this weekend.

"I'm one of those guys that, if there's snow, I'll find it," says club member Dean Frase.

But even if you could find it on Eau Claire county trails you couldn't ride them until Valentine's Day when the county embraced the snow and opened trails.

"Saw the groomer go through here and I was like, 'Alright!  Hopefully my dad ain't got to work and we can go snowmobiling tomorrow,'" says rider Kody Young.

Riders weren't the only ones who were happy to see the snowfall.

"The trail runs right through my property so that's a plus," says The Welcome Matt owner Rick Brantner.

And in the winter those businesses make their money from the snowmobiles coming in off of the trail.  But they can't get out and ride the trail without enough snow.

"When you have a machine sitting around and you can't use it, it kind of makes you mad.  So then a lot of people bail out," says Frase.

Many express frustration because they can still remember when snow used to be so reliable in the winter.

"The sport isn't as active as it used to be because of the lack of snow," says Brantner.

"It's been a tough, tough year," says Frase.

"I've been waiting for snow for the past two years and now we've got some snow and it's doing pretty good," says Young.

And business owners say this recent snowfall could double their rider traffic, which unfortunately isn't much this year.

"Oh, probably six this season, that's it," says Brantner.

"Yeah definitely, you start having years like the past couple years and people lose interest," says Frase.

But maybe, just maybe one week of rideable trails can rejuvenate the sport a little.

"Well anytime there's snow we get a bunch of guys together and we go out snowmobiling," says Young.

And if the trails don't pan out the rest of the winter, spring is around the corner.

If you do head out for a ride at night be on the lookout for groomers working on the trails.

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