MADISON (WKOW)-- It has been a big year for Winter sports and recreation in the Madison area. A welcomed change after last year's extremely mild Winter.
Nearly every activity saw a jump this season. It meant more revenue for local businesses and for outdoor enthusiasts, more time enjoying their passion.
At Elver Park in Madison, a few die hard cross country skiers spent Wednesday night getting in some last minute skiing. For many skiers this recent snowfall is helping them make up for lost time.
"I do think it started off a little slow," says Fontana Sports General Manager Jeff Bedermann. "I think people were a little concerned that maybe it was going to be similar to last year where we got a taste of it but it didn't last very long."
Bedermann says sales and rentals didn't pick up until that first major snowfall in December. After that things slowed down during a mild January, but since then business has picked up.
"We're finding that sales right now are actually up and people are excited even now as we start to really wind down the season," Bedermann says.
It's the same story for snowmobiles. At Engelhart Motorsports they had a rough start, being forced to sell off last year's left over models, but with the recent snowfall they're getting a last minute rush.
"We've got snowmobile buyers coming in, we've got motorcycle buyers. So we're wearing both hats this time of the season," General Manager Robert Hintz explains.
Ski hills are also seeing some end of the year interest, which is good for places like Tyrol Basin. With so much inconsistency in the weather, ticket sales have been all over the place. They're hoping the extra snow from this weekend will help them carry the season through the end of the month.
For the Madison Parks and Rec Department, inconsistency wasn't an issue. With several successful activities they were able to salvage a great season for outdoor activities.
"We had almost one of the longest ice skating seasons that we've had in 15 years," Community Relations Manager Laura Whitmore says. "It was a really good season."
Other activities like snow-shoeing, sledding, and cross country skiing had good years as well. The only drawback was a tough year for grooming and maintenance, but in the end participation more than made up for it.
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