MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The cold is keeping people away from what makes winter in Minnesota wonderful.
Outdoor ice rinks are free for people to use, but below-zero wind chills are keeping them away.
For businesses that count on snow to turn a profit, the string of days below zero has impacted the bottom line.
Kent Kloster, facilities supervisor at Highland Ski and Snowboard Area in Bloomington, says they are usually busy this time of year.
“This is kind of a slow day for us,” Kloster said. “We did close on two occasions this year.”
In January, the ski area was shut down because of dangerous wind chills.
Kloster says it made sense financially to send people home when attendance is down.
“When it’s this cold, what we lose is some of the family walk-up ticket sales,” he said. “The kids you see out here today are going to be from the ski teams, ski clubs … planned events.”
Shopping excursions were also put on hold. Ashley and Emily Lutz were amongst the few to brave the cold outdoors at Woodbury Lakes.
“We have been homebodies just because it’s too cold to go anywhere,” Ashley Lutz said.
Business here is slow, and employees are the only people you see in most stores. Would-be shoppers are staying warm at home, with their cash.
The businesses WCCO spoke with say it could take weeks before they know how much money they lost as a result of the cold.
They are optimistic that the temperatures will rebound in a few days, and people will come out of hibernation and spend some money.