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      Heavy Midwest snow affects snowmobile season in U.P.

      The reliability of the lake effect snow in the Upper Peninsula typically makes for a busy snowmobile season, ushering in large crowds of snowmobilers from around the Midwest.

      This season has been somewhat atypical for the snowmobiling industry in areas like Munising and Grand Marais, leaving shops and businesses bare.

      Heavy snow in Lower Michigan and other parts of the Midwest are to blame for the initial decline in the amount of visitors who have traveled to the area hotels, businesses and outdoor sporting shops for snowmobiling in the Upper Peninsula.

      "This season has been a little bit off compared to the last few seasons, primarily due to the snow packed below the Mackinac Bridge and Green Bay on south. People from Chicago and Detroit don't have to come all the way up here to have a good ride," says Renze Power sports owner, Chuck Renze.

      Renze Power Sports predicts that the warmer temperatures and rain that are now hitting other parts of the Midwest will bring back their usual crowd of snowmobilers during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.