Snowmobile Derby

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Bitter winter temperatures and fresh layers of snow have hit the Eagle River area this week, and that is making for a lot of happy. Albeit cold expressions on the faces of people in the Northwoods.

"They said it was gonna be a low of four degrees this weekend and temps in the 15's and 20's," said Dick Decker, Snowmobile Derby Organizer," so it's perfect temps for the riders and the fans."

Decker says the derby itself brings in between seven and $12 million every year, and that's not including all the added business that hotels, restaurants and gas stations in surrounding areas take in, from the roughly 30,000 people who come to town for the races.

"People come up, they enjoy the Northwoods," said Kim Emerson, Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, "they're going to our gas stations, they're going downtown to shop and ya know, that brings money into the community."

With people coming from all over the Midwest and Canada, Emerson says nearly all the hotels the chamber works with are already full. The only rooms she can find travelers are last-minute vacancies. That's bad news for road-weary tourists, but great news for the businesses ready to take their money.