Westby’s annual Snowflake Ski Jump Tournament brings a flurry of visitors to town each winter. However, ski jumpers aren’t the only ones preparing for the event; Westby’s local businesses are too.
Gary Mowery said he has been a part of the ski jump tournament for many years, but this is one of the first times he’s looking at it as a business opportunity.
Mowery is part owner of Nordic Lanes in Westby and has been preparing for this weekend for awhile.
“We put on more staff, we have more food and more drinks. We want to make sure everybody gets taken care of and has a good time,” said Mowery.
It’s a weekend many local businesses anticipate to be better than the rest.
“There are folks where this is a big deal for them and they make it an annual event. They make it a point to stop into the restaurant and of course we appreciate that. That is what makes it fun,” said Blane Charles, the owner of Borgen’s Café in Westby.
Borgen’s Café holds the kickoff breakfast for the ski tournament every year.
“We have that event every year at the restaurant and we see ski jumpers from all over the world, from Norway and all different places so that is always a fun event to have,” said Charles.
For some, the busy weekend makes all the difference. Karl Evenstad with the Junior Ski Jumping Club in Westby holds a fundraiser every year at the tournament.
“Having a booth here is extremely important, we rely 100 percent on this event for our fundraising,” said Evenstad.
Evenstad said without the event, it would be hard to buy equipment for the jumpers.
“It would be a lot more challenging because we wouldn’t have the type of access to this concentration of ski jumping supporters,” said Evenstad.
But the weekend isn’t all business for these Westby employers, it’s tradition.
“It makes us really happy! We love it. It’s great fun for them and we enjoy having people here,” said Mowery.
Click here for the results from the Snowflake Ski Jump Tournament.