State snowmobiling officials: Mild winter having a big economic impact

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The annual New York State Snowmobile Association's winter meeting was held on Saturday in Rome.

NYSSA President Gary Broderick says the mild winter is having a major negative impact, first for snowmobiler's fun, and second for the businesses that support the sport. He said, "it's been a terrible year. It's been very hard on the snowmobile clubs that build the trails throughout New York and it's very hard on the business that support snowmobiling and benefit from snowmobiling across the state."

The meeting of the snowmobile minds was held at The Beeches Inn and Conference Center, which is one of those businesses being negatively effected by this season's lack of snow.

Owner Orrie Destito says business is way down this winter. He says, "We're located on the New York State Snowmobile Trail and we have lodging and dining facilities where the trail cuts through. Over the years, snowmobiling has become a major part of our winter business."

Destito didn't have a dollar figure of how much he may be down, but considers the hit, significant. "The lodge would do business naturally because the trail is so close to the lodge, that would do business. These are people that are spending serious dollars and of course, we're having a winter of no snow, so I can only tell you it's a tough situation," said Destito.

Broderick says it's still early February and there is time to get some major snow. He says, "as soon as there's snow, you'll see a lot of people back on the trails, a lot of people spending money at businesses, but I'm afraid we may lose some snowmobile related businesses, some snowmobile dealership and stuff like that because nobody's buying right now."

Broderick says to give you an idea of just how hard our mild winter has had an effect state-wide, when it comes to snowmobile registrations, it's down about 40 percent. Broderick says last season there were 135,000 registered snowmobilers in the state,

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