The Effects of Cold Weather on Seasonal Businesses
While you may not have been happy to see snow outside your window on Wednesday morning, imagine running a businesses that relies on warm weather.
According to staff at Rita's Italian Ice on West Gore Road, they've only had six warm days since they opened on March 1, and Wednesday's weather adds to another day of sales that are less than ideal. But, staff at Rita's still prepare for a day of serving frozen treats.
Deborah Enzbrenner, the owner of Rita's Italian Ice explained, "If it's sunny and cool, we get a little bit of business. If it's warm and rainy we still get business, but cloudy and cold it will be dead today."
Enzbrenner said no matter how much she prepares, when cold weather hits, sales are down. "It's a lot of money that goes right out the door. We have a 36 hour freshness policy, so if it wasn't made today, it gets tossed at the end of the day, so it is planning and it's careful, otherwise you are throwing money out the window", said Enzbrenner.
It's not just Rita's Italian Ice that sees a slow down in business during the chillier days, but also the Erie Zoo. Zoo officials said when they see visitors come in on the colder days, the visitors get a different experience with the animals.
Emily Smicker, the Marketing and Events Coordinator at the Erie Zoo said, "It's actually a really unique experience to be able to come and kind of experience the zoo all to yourself and see the animals in a different way, a lot of time they are a lot more active on cooler days."
Although Erie Zoo staff said they never like to see days with the weather that deter people from coming to the zoo, they always prepare for the possibility of slower sales days.
"We plan for days like this, we do live in Erie, Pennsylvania, so we work that into the budget and find different ways. That's why we do different fundraisers through the years, you will see us do different things, that really helps us get through days like today and get through the winter time when we are closed", said Smicker.
Zoo staff said that no matter sun, rain or snow, they are open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., seven days a week.