GRAND MARAIS, Mich. (WLUC) - Snowmobile season kicked off last weekend, and one U.P. town is gearing up to be flooded with tourists. Snowmobile season began December 1 in Michigan, and since then snowmobilers have been out riding in Grand Marais. Trail workers have been out late each day grooming the trails making sure they're ready for another boom this weekend.
"Everybody realizes it's the first ride of the season, so there is going to be some bumps here and there, but the trails are in really good shape,” said Grand Marais snow trails vice president Jack Hubbard. “We're real pleased with what we got going."
Grand Marais, once just a spring through fall tourism destination is now prepared for the thousands of snowmobilers rolling through every year. The Chamber of Commerce says that snowmobilers help to keep the town's economy alive every winter.
"I would say the majority of the businesses would either have to close their doors for the winter months or severely reduce their hours," said Aleta Hubbard, president of the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce.
The town owes this recent increase in snowmobilers to their Chamber of Commerce, who are marketing their more than 200 miles of trails.
"There's a big snowmobile show every year down in Novi, and the Chamber of Commerce has been going for several years now with a booth, just to promote Grand Marais for snowmobiling,” said Aleta. “It's been a great success."
Because of this, the town has become a winter destination for many from across the Midwest, not just the Lower Peninsula.
"They do come up, and probably the majority of them are from Lower Michigan, but they come from all over," said Hubbard.
For more information on where you can stay, what to do, and how you can book your trip to Grand Marais to go snowmobiling, visit the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce website.