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MADISON, Wis. -Companies that rely on snowfall for their livelihood are struggling this season despite some recent small snowfalls.

There was a little work to do along sidewalks Wednesday morning, which was welcome news to Barnes snow removal crews.

"This year has been very slow for all snow removal companies," said Steve Kamps, head of the snow removal division. "You only have to think back to last month and we had officially one-tenth of an inch of snow in all of December and that's pretty remarkable. That's as slow as I can ever remember a single month."

That means Barnes, who primarily gets paid per snow event, hasn't had a windfall this winter.

"Snow is a big money maker so when we don't have snow it does hurt," Kamps said. "It delays a lot of plans and we don't have money that we need for purchasing."

The story is similar at ski hill Tyrol Basin, where December was also down and January is mixed.

"We have seen a lot of beginners and new skiers with the warm temperatures, but we're missing the folks who like to ski the fresh powder on a sunny day," owner Don McKay said.

But for the winter companies, hope springs eternal.

"Winter is not over yet," Kamps said. "It's the middle of January and we have several weeks to go so it could still turn around."



Lack of snow hurts companies' seasonal business

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