Less Snow Means Less Green for Businesses
Aspen saw its second driest January in nearly a hundred years. February so far has also been dry and warm. For businesses who make a lot of money on snow, it’s been a tough go of it.
“I’ve been in the snow removal business for 28 years, and really never seen this long a dry spell before,” says Will Vannice.
He owns Daly Properties in Basalt. He and his workers usually remove snow and ice for commercial properties, and business is down about 350 percent. Vannice says the company will probably make it through OK, as long as he keeps spending to a minimum. But it’s harder on the workers.
“We have 6 salaried positions here and they just cut 30% of their salary out until the first of April,” he says.
Further up valley, Glenn Loper is owner of Groundskeepers of Aspen. The company also does snow removal and landscaping.
“At this point we’re on an “on call” business for our employees, about fifteen or eighteen of them that are in limbo right now.”
Loper also has about a handful of salaried employees and they’re staying busy down in Carbondale. That’s because Groundskeepers is now operating Planted Earth nursery there. Like Will Vannice, Loper has to make sure he keeps an eye on spending this spring to make it through OK. And they’re both waiting out February before switching over to spring landscaping.
“I was kind of excited the other day when I saw that the weather pattern had shifted and we’re possibly gonna get more snow now,” Loper says.
Aspenweather.net is forecasting snow for this Sunday and Monday. Corey Gates, co-founder of the hyper-local forecasting website, says the rest of the month looks stormy.
He guesses that 28 inches of snow will fall by the end of the month.