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Warm weather slows down winter activities for southern Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – It’s been an unseasonably warm start to the year for southern Wisconsin, and the steady stretch of above-freezing temperatures is slowing down winter activities.

“We’ve been open about half as much as we were last year,” Madison Parks Division’s assistant parks superintendent CJ Ryan said.

By mid-January last season, the Parks Division’s winter amenities were open for a total of 12 days.

Fast forward to now, and those amenities have only been open for five.

“People really haven’t had the opportunity to go out and enjoy the cold weather the way that we normally would,” Ryan said.

Mother nature hath hurt the Parks Division’s pockets.

“It does hurt us a bit,” Ryan said. “We get a little bit of revenue for our park system through ski rentals, skate rentals, concessions, that sort of thing. So when people aren’t out and our rinks are closed, it does give us a bit of a hit.”

But Saturday was one of the five days the Division’s amenities were open, as it was cold enough for folks to hit the ice.

“This is the first time we’ve been skating this season, so it’s nice to be out here,” Madison resident Wesley Morgan said.

For Madison residents Dema and Sho Kuznetsov, winter isn’t the same without a chance to lace up their skates.

“In Madison, its winters are usually very difficult to tolerate unless you have something to do outside, like skiing… and ice skating of course,” Dema Kuznetsov said. “But this year (has been) very, very bad for that.”

Ryan said the Parks Division’s rinks will close again starting Jan. 15 due to warm temperatures.

If you want to find out the status of the Madison Parks Division’s winter amenities, you can visit their website here.

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