Why no snow is unhealthy information for some Nova Scotia companies

The bottom is naked in a lot of Nova Scotia this winter, as frequent rainfall shortly washes the snow away. That is unhealthy information for companies that promote snow-related gear.

There’s been little use for snowblowers and snowmobiles, and winter sport lovers are wishing for snowfall because the season’s tourism will get off to a gradual begin.

David Mackley, the proprietor of Mackley Tools in Blacketts Lake, mentioned snowblower gross sales are down about 15 per cent in comparison with the final 35 years in enterprise. 

Some clients are even promoting their used snowblowers to purchase turbines as a substitute. 

“We’re seeing a big share of individuals now focusing extra on turbines due to [post-tropical storm] Fiona and the frenzy that it induced with the dearth of energy,” he mentioned.

Nova Scotians have not had to make use of snowblowers fairly often this winter. (Robert Quick/CBC)

Snowmobile gross sales down

Individuals who promote winter sporting tools are additionally seeing adjustments in shopping for habits. 

At Cabot Powersports close to Sydney River, snowmobile gross sales are dropping, whereas all terrain autos and filth bike gross sales are nonetheless going robust. 

“You’ll be able to drive an ATV, even a mud bike, by means of many of the trails nonetheless within the woods,” mentioned Jeff Hawkins, the shop’s gross sales supervisor.

He mentioned clients are shopping for elements for machines which can be usually put away in December. 

“You are not often eager about selecting up a brand new sled, selecting up a brand new snowblower, every time it is raining sideways and 10 levels outdoors,” he mentioned. 

However for individuals who depend on numerous snow for his or her winter actions, the circumstances usually are not supreme. 

Snowmobilers often hit the paths from late-December to mid-April, however to date this 12 months, there hasn’t been sufficient snow cowl.

“With no snow within the lowlands, only a few snowmobilers have been out on the path by now,” mentioned Clifford Aucoin, president of the Cabot Snowmobile Membership in Sydney.

He estimates the snowmobiling season will begin about 5 weeks later than ordinary, which is unhealthy information for rural companies that depend on winter tourism gross sales.

Aucoin mentioned vacationers who come to the island to snowmobile are calling off their journeys.

Consequently, motels, fuel stations and meals institutions in Wreck Cove, Chéticamp, Margaree and Whycocomagh are lacking out on enterprise. 

Aucoin mentioned many motels have seen many cancellations in January resulting from no snow. 

A man stands in front of a sign for his group. It reads, "always purchase your membership and trail passes. You'll get smoother and safer trails."
Clifford Aucoin, president of the Cabot Snowmobile Membership in Sydney, N.S., says the season is about 5 weeks not on time. (Emily Latimer)

Trails are naked

At North Highlands Nordic in Cape North, their snowshoe and cross-country ski trails are in tough form with ruts, twigs, sticks and rocks coming by means of a patchy overlaying of snow. 

The sports activities complicated has but to set a gap date, as they look ahead to a strong base of snow.

“We’re fully depending on Mom Nature for that,” mentioned Katie Fougere, supervisor of the ski rental workplace. “We’re actually attempting to remain optimistic, however we’re all hurting that it is taking so lengthy to begin.”

Final 12 months, their trails opened Jan. 9.

A wooded trail has a very light covering of white snow with grass sticking through.
The path system at North Highlands Nordic has but to open for the season. (Submitted by Katie Fougere)

Fougere mentioned whereas it isn’t unusual to have cyclical climate techniques with out snow protection in January, she thinks it is taking place extra typically resulting from local weather change.

Within the meantime, the non-profit is adapting their youth and seniors programming — simply with out the snow.

“Hopefully, it is a one-off and within the subsequent couple of years, we’ll be fantastic,” she mentioned. “Everybody’s hopeful.”