Warm Weather Hurting Local Business


Most people wouldn’t complain about the unseasonably warm winter we’ve had so far. That is, unless your business relies on the cold temperatures to thrive.

Very little snow is left throughout the Stateline. With temperatures reaching the fifties, winter is quickly melting away. For some, that means seasonal activities come to a screeching halt. Rocktown Adventures manager Rick Barton says they’ve had to cancel many of their snowshoe and cross country ski classes.

“We’ve had cycles before where we’ve had marginal snow,” said Barton. “But, what’s happened in the last couple of years is that cycle is longer.”

Rocktown Adventures also rents out winter equipment throughout the season. Barton says while it disappoints him to cancel events because of the weather, it is also impacting business. “We don’t like it, obviously, from a financial standpoint. Also, because we buy product to have these events and to have rentals.”

Barton adds he’s been in the winter sports business for 45 years. He says these warmer winter temps are becoming a common trend.

“I always tell people the equator is moving to Rockford. But, we do have longer, warmer spells then we did in the 70’s and the 80’s.”

Rocktown Adventures teams up with the Natural Land Institute to host their annual Full Moon Snowshoe Hike. Organizers say event participation varies depending on the weather.

“We have had snow, we’ve had no snow, we’ve had rain, and sleet and snow,” said Natural Land Institute Director of Marketing & Membership Kim Johnsen. “We have people come out for all types of weather. The numbers will change depending on the type of weather we have.”

This year, the event is taking place Wednesday during the full moon. Johnsen says the hike will happen sow or not. But, would prefer to see some white.

“The ideal weather would be snow, where we may have like three to four inches or more,” said Johnsen.

Wander at the Wetland: Full Moon Snowshoe & Hike will be completely free on Wednesday, January 31 from 4:30pm-8:00pm at Nygren Wetland Preserve, 3190 Rockton Rd., Rockton, IL 61072.

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