Warm winter weather impacts on Minnesota economy

Warm winter weather impacts on Minnesota economy

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(ABC 6 News) – In 2022, tourism in Minnesota was a $22 billion industry, but things could look a bit different with this year’s warm weather.

During the winter months, Minnesota typically attracts visitors looking to take part in activities like ice fishing or snowmobiling, but experts say spending has been a bit different this go around.

“This is across all of our sectors, so it’s not just tourism related. but spending for goods does continue to be up and actually, after adjusting for inflation, spending on services is down a little bit,” senior economic analyst for the University of Minnesota-Extension Brigid Tuck said.

Small communities across the state are more likely to feel the pinch.

“The smaller the community, the greater it relies on winter tourism, the more severe the impact most likely will be,” director of the tourism center at the University of Minnesota-Extension Xinyi Qian said.

Winter isn’t over yet, though, with a round of snow on the forecast Wednesday night.

While MnDOT says they’re ready this time around, it’s still a good idea to take it slow when getting behind the wheel.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve had to drive on snowy icy roads, so just kind of have to get your mind, your driving skills back into winter mode at least for the moment here,” MnDOT director of public engagement and communications Mike Dougherty said.