Cold weather helps business in Northern Wisconsin
Glen Moberg, Wisconsin Public Radio
While the arctic air mass that has blanketed Wisconsin has been cursed by some, it is being welcomed by businesses that depend on the cold weather for their bottom line.
Unofficial readings on some thermometers up north were down to negative 24 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. But Peggy Hintze of Schofield, who has seen 72 Wisconsin winters, was taking it all in stride.
“Living in Wisconsin, that's part of it,” says Hintze. “You accept it. As long as I have a warm coat, and the car starts, I don't care.”
When the cars don't start, it's good for business, according to Ken Laffin – owner of Advanced Auto Repair of Wausau.
“A lot of shops, they're slow around the Christmas time anyway between of people buying gifts and then the tax season, of course,” says Laffin. “It definitely means a difference in the bottom line for the year.“
And if the cold weather is good for the auto repair business, it's essential for the snowmobile business, according to Allan Zahrt, owner of Pro Motor Sports of Brokaw.
“We need the cold weather to keep the snow,” says Zahrt. “Everything's got to stay below freezing to keep our trails in good condition and for everybody to go out and have a good time.”
For Zahrt, the cold start to this year is a welcome relief.
“I'd like to consider this to be normal, but the last few seasons have been warm right up through January,” says Zahrt. “Last year we didn't open our trails until the first of February. It's a very, very positive thing for our business, yes.”
The frigid weather is tough on the homeless, and those who have trouble paying heating bills; but for some businesses up north, it's a lifeline.