Winter arrives in timely fashion for businesses that count on cold weather

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Winter finally arrived in Central Ohio on Sunday. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for businesses that rely on colder weather to make money.

Customers packed Aspen Ski and Board Co. Monday afternoon looking for winter apparel and sports gear.

winter 2Jason Fox came with his daughter to buy new ski boots.

“Weather turned cold, brought me out,” said Fox as he modeled his new kicks. “We are getting ready to go to Park City, Utah in February and you need a good pair of boots.”

Unseasonably warm temperatures in November and December stalled sales of winter goods, leaving coats, hats and sleds gathering dust on store shelves.

The Aspen Ski and Board Company caters to two sets of customers – those that ski locally and those who head west into Colorado and Utah.

“It really didn’t affect our west traffic because they are having such a phenomenal year,” said manager Scott Sahr. “But locally, yes. Nobody is thinking about getting warm coats and whatnot when it’s 45 degrees in the middle of December.”

The company slashed prices, offering generous discounts on all merchandise. Deals could be found on boots, skis and coats.

winter 3Further north in Delaware, E&H Ace Hardware welcomed the uptick in business Sunday. Ahead of the storm system that rolled through early yesterday morning, workers set out most of the salt supply that was taking up space in the back of the store.

“Most people are saying they are preparing for later in the week, when it’s actually colder,” said employee Ian Coburn. “Others are saying it caught them off guard so they needed to get more salt.”

winter 4E&H Ace Hardware will keep ordering large supplies of salt and other winter weather items well into February. They closely monitor the forecast, making order adjustments where necessary.

With three months of winter remaining, these specialty businesses hope El Nino takes a siesta until March.

“All we can do is our snow dances at home and hope that it stays cold,” said Sahr.

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