Local Businesses Prepare For Customers Starting Winter Activities

Whether you're looking to ski, ice fish or find some new winter gear, retailers like Trailfitters, Marine General and Ski Hut are ready to help anyone enjoy the outdoors.

DULUTH, Minn. – The snow is falling and the cold has arrived, but that hasn’t stopped Northlanders from spending time outside, especially as the pandemic continues.

“It’s very easy to get outside but in the situation we’re in, it’s also very easy to not take advantage of those opportunities so we want people to come in and get excited about whatever they’re doing and whatever little adventures they’re going on,” Trailfitters manager Pat Davidson said.

At Trailfitters located inside of Fitger’s, tons of local customers have been coming in since the summer trying new activities.

“We were seeing people that now maybe want a little gift to go along with some of the camping gear that they had bought this summer. Perhaps they’re going snowshoeing now once we finally get some snow and just be able to enjoy the outdoors like they were able to the past six months,” Davidson added.

Marine General on London Road is normally preparing for a big ice show this time of year, but is still finding ways to engage with their customers, even if some things have had to change.

“We have all the giveaway stuff that the factories would have had here, they sent them up to us and said here give them away. So buy a tent, get a sweatshirt, but a different type of tent you get a bucket and a shovel,” Marine General owner Russ Francisco said.

And although it’s been warmer lately than normal for this time of the season, Francisco says it’s still a great time to ice fish safely.

“We’ve had good ice. It isn’t real thick, but it’s an honest six inches in most places. It’s crisp, hard ice, there’s no snow on it so people are going fishing and that’s keeping us busy,” Francisco said.

And as people are doing more activities outside, technicians at Ski Hut have been extra busy with repairs.

“It’s been our busiest year, at least the busiest that I’ve seen here since employed at the ski hut. Seems like everybody is ready for some outdoor recreation, get out of the house,” service technician at Ski Hut Connor Beer said.

It’s taking about a week to tune skis, and they’ve also been busy with bike tires.

“Everybody’s tires swiped over to a studded, winter tire for a little more safety and control on the trail,” Beer added.

Whether you’re looking to ski, ice fish or find some new winter gear, retailers like these want to emphasize the importance of finding something to enjoy in the outdoors.

“Whether it is going to a new spot in town, trying a new sport this winter, we have to take advantage of the uncertainty of everything and try to get through it the best we can,” Davidson said.

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