Warm weather impacts winter tourism

WAUPACA, Wis. (WBAY) -- This time of year, Wisconsinites are used to snow and ice covering our state – but this weekend it’s more green outside than it is white.

Besides being a nice change of pace, this sudden “heat wave” has been affecting area tourism for winter sports.

“If you would have saw us a week ago, at least it looked like winter. And now in the last couple days, it's really melted,” says Mayor Brian Smith, City of Waupaca.

Saturday in Waupaca, the ground is a soggy green and brown – causing the cancellation of two winter events.

“When we don't have the snow, to utilize the trails and such, you just can't make it happen,” says Mitchell Swenson, Vice President of Tourism for Waupaca Area Convention and Visitor Bureau.

For the second year in a row, the Waupaca Annual Pond Hockey Classic was cancelled – this year for melting ice and standing water on the lake.

A fat tire bike race was also cancelled this Saturday in the city.

But it’s not just this weekend that have winter sports enthusiasts frustrated.

So far, none of the Waupaca County snowmobile trails have been open all season – a trend Action 2 News has been following across many Northeast Wisconsin snow trails.

“We have a lack of snow in this area, and I think statewide actually, so that's impacting tourism with snowmobiles, with cross country skiing,” says Swenson.

Mayor Smith says the warm weather has already hindered Waupaca’s winter tourism. He’s hoping for more seasonable weather in the coming days.

“Hoping for a lot of snow, quite honestly. I mean that's what winter in Wisconsin's all about,” he says.

According to Storm Center 2, temperatures in Waupaca will dip into the mid-teens. So far, there’s no snow in the forecast.