MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — By this time next week, it’s estimated one-million visitors will descend upon Minneapolis.

This means big business for restaurants, bars and most any business downtown. But, some other local businesses are getting a huge boost much to their surprise.

It seems visitors are intrigued with a certain Minnesota past time. Before they take their seats for the Super Bowl, many are taking a seat on top of a lake.

In Minnesota, this is an ordinary January morning. But for some, this day is extraordinary.

Cautiously, the crew from Seven Sports in Munich, here to cover the big game.

Patrick Esume is a coach and broadcaster for the station.

“It’s the biggest sporting event in the world,” Esume said.

But first, these reporters are tackling another big assignment.

German reporter Max Zielke told WCCO, “It was not our idea, it was the idea of the producer.”

Esume chimed in, “I wanted to go to Mall of America, get into the roller coaster and be nice and warm and have a cool roller coaster ride.”

And for many, ice fishing certainly qualifies as adventure. And they are far from the only visiting thrill seekers.

Todd Stauffer with Set the Hook ice fishing service told WCCO, “We had people from California, Florida, Texas.”

Saturday, he hosted 100 people in an ice fishing party.

“People were looking at these cracks, ‘Is that, is that safe?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah you can see how deep it is.’ We got 22 inches of ice,” Stauffer said.

And Jeff Heinrichs with Ice Fishing Warriors is slammed too. He had to bring out extra houses before he hosts journalists from the national networks, and of course Germany.

“Business is very good on the ice right now, very good,” Heinrichs said.

He says he’s gotten a big kick out all fish out of water reactions.

Esume said, “What is zero even in degrees for us is -20.  I’ll be staying at the hotel.”

Germany they say is not this cold. A reminder: few places are as cold as Minnesota, and none are as cool.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield