A couple of inches of snow fell on much of the North Shore Friday. But the unusually dry winter is taking a toll on some tourism related business in the Arrowhead region.
Michael Wartman owns Beaver Bay Sports on the North Shore, where he sells, services and rents snowmobiles. He says none of the trails in the area can handle snowmobiles yet, and estimates his business is down 75 percent from a normal December. The time between Christmas and New Year's is typically his busiest time of year, he said.
"The customer has that Christmas money in their pocket," Wartman said. "They usually buy covers, accessories, helmets, gloves, and jackets. But this year has really been a major decline, because there's not the snowfall, not the white stuff on the ground."
Businesses that cater to skiers and snowshoers on the Gunflint Trail are faring better. The National Weather Service reports five inches of fresh snow on the ground in areas near Grand Marais.