Warmer winter puts tourism industry on thin ice - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Warmer winter puts tourism industry on thin ice

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LAKESIDE MARBLEHEAD, OH (WTOL) – The warmer winter has area tourism on thin ice.

With a lack of freezing temperatures this January, popular winter tourism sites like East Harbor State Park are seeing a drop in visitors. 

"When the ice is here, it's a big draw for people, whether they're going to the islands, or going off the mainland to one of the access points," said Mike Monnett, manager at East Harbor State Park.

He says ice fishing is one of the most popular winter sports in Ohio, bringing thousands of tourist to the area every year.

No ice means no business, and it's affecting the entire community.

"Between fuel, hotels, bait stores, and restaurants, all those businesses count on these people coming up to the area, said Monnett. "With no winter sports they wouldn't be up here, so we'd see the effects of that."

 Ted Wierzba, the owner of Danbury Hardware RV & Marine, 5486 East Harbor Rd, says it's usually slow this time of year, but with temperatures edging near 60 degrees ferinheit on Tuesday, he's feeling the heat.

"This weather affects us quite a bit. A lot of my business comes from the local marinas, the campgrounds, and the people who stay at the campgrounds," said Wierzba.

Business owners say they're expecting to make up for the slow winter season when summer tourism begins.

Temperatures are forecasted to cool down by Friday.

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