Area businesses gear up for spring
A winter storm made a mess of some states, canceling flights, closing schools and making driving dangerous. That same storm is brushing past us, leaving some businesses struggling to figure out their next move.
When you own a seasonal business weather has everything to do with how you operate.
"Anywhere between 40 and 50 degrees the customers will come out," explained owner Greg Rhoads.
His Rita's in Macungie has been selling water ice since Valentine's Day. The earliest this store has opened in seven years.
"I've watched people come out, they have their parkas on and they're still buying because they're excited that the product's out," shared Rhoads.
He compared sales the last few weeks to a typical September. In fact, with the weather the way it's been, this Rita's is opening earlier and staying open later than ever.
Last year they didn't shut down until close to Thanksgiving. But rain and snow definitely can put a damper on business.
"My true goal, if the weather cooperates, is to have the store open 10 months out of the year and shut down for two," added Rhoads.
Registers were slow Wednesday at Dries Do It Center in Macungie. The salt was lined up and ready to go with snow originally in the forecast.
"Usually we're a lot busier, we actually have extra staff just in case," explained Assistant Manager Darron Dries. "Nothing happened."
Tiki torches have replaced snow shovels and brightly colored chairs are now for sale.
Sitting on winter inventory hurts business, but they can't argue with Mother Nature.
"We're done with winter, we're moving onto bigger and better things: spring," laughed Dries.
Officially the first day of spring is just 14 days away.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
School district loses millions in 'risky financial agreement'
Bound bodies of 2 men found in Schuylkill River; 3rd hurt
Three pedestrians struck near Allentown Fairgrounds
2 arrested in deadly beating of Lehigh County man in OCMD
Rollover accident snarls traffic on West Shore Bypass
Basketball game leads to shooting, stabbing in South Allentown park
Small plane goes down in Amity; 2 people taken to hospital
Amish horse-and-buggy occupants robbed at gunpoint
Caught on camera: Burglars repeatedly strike Berks business
Teen jumps from burning building in Stroudsburg