Snowblowers selling out as winter looms

November 19, 1996


Staff Writer

With the Blizzard of '96 still fresh in their minds, area residents are snapping up snowblowers and snow shovels in preparation for the coming winter.

"If we had a preseason sale in July we could have sold them then," said sales associate Ronnie Brezler at Sears in Long Meadow Shopping Center.

Memories of recent harsh winters have made snowblowers a popular item, store officials said.

Snow is not in the immediate weather forecast, but people are getting a jump on Mother Nature.

Last winter, nearly 3 feet of snow fell on Jan. 6-7. Another 8 to 10 inches of snow fell a week later. Before winter gave way to spring, area residents had dug themselves out from under about 68.8 inches of snow.


With that in mind, snowblowers can seem like an attractive alternative to shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks, store officials said. Snowblowers range in price from about $300 to $1,500.

"Four years ago you couldn't sell a snowblower in Washington County, but now it's a hot item," Brezler said.

Chris Maxon, manager of Lowe's of Hagerstown on Wesel Boulevard, said sales of snowblowers have been "outstanding. I'm completely out of them."

In past years, Lowe's might have sold out of snowblowers by the end of a harsh winter, he said.

Maxon said the store sold 50 snowblowers between August and October. A second shipment of 30 snowblowers sold out in about a week.

Cavetown Planing Mill store manager Casey Martin said he's not surprised by how quickly the snowblowers are selling.

"I don't think anybody forgot last winter," Martin said.

He said he's sold about half his stock, and expects the rest to go as soon as a heavy snow is forecast.

Store officials said they ran out of snowblowers last winter following the blizzard and customers became angry.

Todd Easterday, manager of Warrenfeltz Hardware in Boonsboro, said people seem to be getting prepared for winter earlier than usual this year.

Snowblowers, snow shovels and bags of ice melter are selling well already. Those are items "which generally we don't sell until we have a snow storm," Easterday said.

Those planning to clear snow the old-fashioned way are buying up snow shovels at area stores, officials said.

"We've been selling quite a few for as early as it is," said Bob Startzman, of Startzman Hardware at 775 S. Potomac St. "Usually you don't sell them until you get a couple of inches of snow on the ground."

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