The lack of winter weather has been welcomed by many North Country natives, but for snowmobilers and businesses in the Tug Hill, it's been tough to see. Our Amanda Kelley tells us what some organizations are doing to try to boost tourism in the upcoming months.
BARNES CORNERS, N.Y. - -Empty tables, they've been common at restaurants across the Tug Hill region this winter.
Tuggers Owner Tricia Garvin said, "This season it's been very, very slow compared to other seasons. We haven't had a lot of snow, and the snowmobiles really haven't been able to get out."
On a holiday weekend Tuggers in Barnes Corners usually sees a great deal of business from snowmobile enthusiasts. But this slow trend is one several local businesses are suffering from thanks to a lack of snow.
Tug Hill Adirondack ATV Association Officer Lee Staelens said, "Business is down at least 65% if not 70% because of the lack of snow. Every flake that falls is a dollar, it really is. It's a huge impact to their businesses."
Garvin said, "There's really nothing we can do, we run specials and put stuff on Facebook, what the specials are for the evening, and we just hope that people are going to drive up. "
To help keep businesses like Tuggers and others throughout the area afloat, local ATV associations are already planning major events that they hope will have a big impact on the local economy.
Staelens said, "One business owner says, we have to do something now this year with ATVs or I'm going to have to close up and sell. That was his exact words to me."
Tug Hill Adirondack ATV Association President Joseph Onyon said, "There's a lot of good riding, and I think that it's a big plus for the businesses and for the folks up here to get the ATV's on Tug Hill."
The Tug Hill Adirondack ATV Association organizes several rides throughout the year such as the Trail Development Ride, but now they're planning even bigger rides months before ATVs even hit the trails.
Staelens said, "We're working on something for September right now with the business owners and the groups here on Tug Hill. That should be very major."
Business owners say it's just what they need to bring more business and more dollars into the local community.
Garvin said, "We hope that the ATVs pick up a little bit more. They're doing new trails and more roads are open up here and we would just really like to see the ATV traffic pick up."
Hoping for a smoother ride for riders and businesses alike.
For more information about the ATV Trails and rides in Lewis County visit, http:///tughilladirondacksatv.com.