By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the weather has heated up this summer, so has business.

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In fact, the heat wave has caused some employers to hire more workers due to increased business.

“It’s been one hit to the next and even the little stuff in between have done well,” said Matt Gamble of Showplace Icon Theatre in St. Louis Park.

“The Hunger Games” and “The Avengers” have been big hits this year, but Gamble says the heat has been the biggest hit of all.

“Fourth of July isn’t a huge weekend for us — Minnesotans like to go outside,” Gamble said. “But we put up incredible numbers. As big as any other holiday we’ve had.”

Since the last week of June, when temperatures started to rise, so did movie ticket sales. Business is up 20 percent.

Matinees that used to see about 100 people have been seeing as many as 500. More heat this weekend, plus “The Dark Knight Rises” in theaters means big business.

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“It should be one of our best weekends ever,” Gamble said.

Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream in Minneapolis always does well, but the hot weather has been especially good for Chocolate Coyote or Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

They’ve seen a 10 percent increase this summer.

“It seems like it’s been a constant crunch of 100 degree days and I don’t remember that at all,” said Sebastian Joe customer Patrick Stark.

Day after day, frame after frame, the bowlers keep rolling in for Phil Weber at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park.

The air conditioning and the chance to down knock some pins has created a 20 percent increase in business.

“Unprecedented how many people have been here because of the heat wave,” he said. “It’s something we’ve never seen before.”

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Libraries are also a popular place. The Linden Hills Library in Minneapolis has seen a 20 percent increase in patrons. Everyone from families to the elderly have been stopping in to check things out.

John Lauritsen