Minnesota has seen the warmest winter some of us can ever remember. I personally don't ever remember a February where I saw motorcycles riding around. Some people are enjoying the mild winter, but those who are in the tourism business are struggling.

I wrote last week about how thousands of staff members have been let go, and some restaurants and businesses have been forced to close.

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itsarasak thithuekthak

"The Worst Winter We've Ever Had"

Minnesota Tourism - especially 'up north' relies on snow and cold temperatures to entice people to come up and play. Without snow, many trailside bars and restaurants don't have the snowmobile crowd to serve. No snow means no cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or downhill skiing.

Related: Thousands Of People Laid Off From Mild Minnesota Winter

I spoke with several resort and restaurant owners recently. They've said they have tried to adapt, offering different experiences for guests. They've also teamed up with one another to try some new things and expand who they can serve. Still, it's difficult to get people to come up without any snow. Several owners told me that they plan for slow times, but this has been unprecedented.

It's rare that the North Shore, specifically, doesn't have any snow. Many times over the years it's been the first place or the only place with groomed trails in Minnesota. Resort owners are calling this the worst winter they've ever had.

3D render of a dollar sign disloving into dust.

Should resorts be bailed out, or forced to adapt to changing winters?

Some people have suggested that a special fund be created with tax dollars that can be tapped into to help resorts in bad years like 2023-2024. Years ago, when walleye fishing was shut down on Mille Lacs, the state stepped in to help resort owners get through the difficult time.

Stack of 00 bills
Tomislav Forgo

Financial Help Similar To Covid Funds?

It's a similar situation to when shutdowns occurred during COVID. It was something outside of the control of the business owners that could (and did) put many out of business.

Is climate change behind the warm winter?

I asked a meteorologist, Brandon Weatherz (AMS Certified) about this warm winter and if it has to do with climate change. The main cause of the warm winter is a strong El Nino this winter. So that's why it's warmer, but climate change has also contributed to the El Nino becoming even stronger than normal. So yes, this could continue in years to come.

LOOK: 50 cozy towns to visit this winter

Stacker created a list of 50 cozy American towns to visit each winter. Towns were selected based on visitor opinions, ratings from nationwide publications, and tourist attractions.

Gallery Credit: Laura Ratliff

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