People love to ask that question. It’s a real conversation-starter. But under the surface is often a sub-text: times are hard; I’m not sure we can get through this.
The most recent focus of this inquiry has been the lack of snow. Usually by this time the hills are covered with snow; now they’re bare. But we’ve seen this before: in 1980 we experienced a similar snowless winter. That was the year the US hosted the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. There were real questions as to whether they do it: the town was too remote, too small, and now the lack of snow would lead to a national embarrassment.
But the organizers pulled it off, relying on snow-guns and trucks for snow and refrigeration equipment for ice. In the end, what most of us remember about those Olympics isn’t the lack of snow, but the “Miracle on Ice” when the US Hockey team defied the odds and won the gold medal, beating the Russians and Finns along the way.
The current snowless winter is similar to 1980: a rare weather pattern has diverted most of the big snow-storms. It’s been hard on the ski areas, but good for town budgets–they haven’t had to clear the roads. But it will shift: weather patterns rarely last for very long.
Memories can be funny, but most unique situations have been seen before. People adapt, and the world moves on.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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