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Limited snowfall hurting Red Lodge businesses

By Charlie Klepps,

2023-01-24
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It's been a tough year for the residents of Red Lodge— first the June flooding washed out part of town, and now a lack of snowfall this winter has businesses struggling throughout the community.

Mac Dean has certainly seen easier times. The owner of the Yodeler Motel in Red Lodge lost half of his rooms to the flooding this past June, and now he's struggling to fill the ones he has left due to a lack of snowfall this season.

"It's a test," Dean said Monday afternoon. "2022 is a test."

According to Dean, it's the worst year he's seen in his 14 years of running the establishment, and he isn't alone.

“It is the worst year we’ve seen on the books in 14 years,” Dean said. "Every business is struggling from what I understand. Numbers are way down, so hopefully it snows."

Red Lodge Mountain General Manager Jeff Schmidt agreed that the year has been slow so far, but he believes that it will begin to pick up.

“It’s not the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last,” Schmidt said. “Red Lodge is known as a land of extremes. We can get five feet overnight or none for a while. Typically after January is when it really turns on here."

Executive Director at the Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce Sherry Weamer echoed Schmidt's optimism — saying that she's confident the community will bounce back.

“We’re looking forward to all our February and March events, and that’s typically when we get all of our snow," Weamer said. "We’re kind of known for our spring skiing. We are resilient and still have so much to offer."

For Dean — an avid skier himself — he'll just keep patiently waiting for the powder to arrive.

“We’re known for our late-season dumps, so I’m counting on those," Dean said. "I think it’s going to get 100% better, but I don’t need any more tests."

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