Dry Winter Taking its Toll on Local Business

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Updated: 2/03 10:46 pm
 

Until today, Eastern Idaho hadn’t seen too much snow this winter. But it doesn’t just put a damper on those who like to ski and snowboard; this dry season is affecting some local businesses.

The snow is finally falling again, and that’s news that some folks around eastern Idaho, whether it be irrigators, retreaters, or business owners, are happy to hear.

“Every night praying for snow and doing the snow dance,” said Josh Pulliam, who works at Barrie’s Ski and Sports in Pocatello.

Snowpack is as vital to eastern Idaho’s economy as money, because when summer comes, the water to irrigate is what pays the bills for many in our area. But what you might not realize is the snow is also an important contributor to the success of local business outside of farming.

“It’s slower, it’s always slow when there’s not snow. It’s there’s all there is to it. We’ve had to put a lot of things on sale, but we have been staying afloat just because Pocatello is awesome,” added Pulliam.

Barrie’s Ski and Sports in Pocatello is a locally owned and operated store that depends on the great winter recreation Idaho usually offers, to bring customers in. The lack of white on the mountain is making them depend on other products to bring in the green.

“We keep the bikes on the floor,” said Pulliam, “with this new store we’re able to keep a couple of bikes in stock as well, and also we’ve been doing snow bikes.”

The low snowpack is also a concern for businesses that depend on full reservoirs and lakes to boost sales in the summer.

“The service stations, the convenient stores, and stuff like that because you really notice a big impact out here the amount of people when we don’t have water in the lake,” said Scott Hayes of the Blackfoot Parks Department.

The news isn’t all grim however, southeast and central Idaho’s snowpack may only be about 60% of the average for this time of year, but areas up north are seeing better days, and will hopefully make up for what we lack when summer time rolls around.

KPVI’s Chief Meteorologist Doug Iverson tells us, “We would be worse off if all of us were suffering snow pack wise, so there is some silver lining to the cloud if you will, being the Tetons, western Wyoming, but I think over all we still got several months ahead.”

Anyone who has lived in Idaho long enough knows that, although the typically coldest time of year is over, we've seen snow all the way into May many years, so it's not panic time quite yet. We've added a few inches of snow in Pocatello and Idaho Falls today, and Pomerelle is expecting about 9 inches tonight, so it's a good week to head up and take advantage of the fresh powder.

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