January 5, 2012

Snow business, slow business

Snow business, slow business
Those who rely on snow,
OK without it


There’s no business like snow business – that is unless there’s no snow.
This winter season is a 180 from last year when nearly 100 inches of snow engulfed the area. So far, a mere 10 inches has accumulated. And that has all but melted away.
One year ago, the sound of snow blowers, motorgraders, shovels and sanders was an everyday occurrence. This year, silence.
For the most part, people aren’t minding a bit that it’s been a brown winter. Dwight Rensch of Rensch Farm Store, Garrison, said sales of snow removal equipment are down. “But that’s OK,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me a bit.”
Farmers Union Oil, Garrison manager Paul Schlichting said he kinda feels the same way. He said he was ready for that 200 inches of snow that everyone was predicting.
Last year, Farmers Union Oil sold 17 snow blowers, which Schlichting said was unusually high. After 11 units sold right away, he had to make a road trip to Jamestown to pick up six more. All of those sold as well.
To be ready for this year, he ordered 15. So far, only three have gone out the door, and those were early season sales. The most recent sale was in November.
Looking over the machines, Schlichting said, “I think we’ll be well-prepared for next winter.”
Dave Rensch, who handles sales at Rensch Farm Store, said he’s sold 40 percent of what was sold last year. And a fair number of those units were presold as early as July, August and September as people prepared for what was predicted to be another harsh winter.

The Weather Network