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Published March 12, 2014, 09:10 PM

Seasonal businesses feel sting of bitter winter

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - It's not only been a rough winter for outdoor enthusiasts with the bitterly cold temperatures and wicked wind chills. It turns out it's also had a negative effect on some businesses that bank on seasonal hobbies.

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - It's not only been a rough winter for outdoor enthusiasts with the bitterly cold temperatures and wicked wind chills. It turns out it's also had a negative effect on some businesses that bank on seasonal hobbies.

Four Corners - it's typically a hot spot in the winter months here along Highway 34. Usually a lot of snowmobilers stop here for lunch or to fill up with gas. This year that's not the case

Rick Bartlet, owner of Four Corners, says it's a winter hobby that has taken a turn for the worse.

Rick Bartlet - Four Corners, Owner: "Probably in the last 8 years, the snowmobilers have just been declining steadily."

We caught up with a trio of riders hitting the trails.

Tim Sweeney - Snowmobiler: "This year I haven't gotten nearly as many miles on because of the temperature."

A steep descent of 700 miles less.

Tim Sweeney: "Usually put on 1,000 and I've got about 300."

So is there any hope for Bartlet’s livelihood to take an upswing yet this season? He says yes, but is banking on one thing - warmer temperatures.

Rick Bartlet: "Last weekend when it was warm we ran out of premium fuel in 2 days. I sold more premium fuel in 2 days than what I did in the last 3 weeks."

Even if snowmobile season comes to an end, Bartel says the snow birds will be home soon and lake traffic will pick up on Highway 34.

Bartlet says the rising cost of the sport may also be to blame for a decline in riders, with some snowmobiles costing $12,000 and premium octane to fuel them at $4 a gallon.

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