Snow spells boon, bust for local businesses - KMSP-TV

Snow spells boon, bust for local businesses

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Winter weather enthusiasts aren't the only ones welcoming the fresh fallen snow. Many metro businesses say they've been slammed since the flakes started flying.

Some call it a hassle, but to some, snow is white gold. Kyle Rafshol practically grew up in the front seat of his father's snow play truck, but the past few years have been a roller coaster.

"Obviously, two years ago, we had a huge winter," he recalled. "That was good for business. Quite a bit of plowing was done. Last year, I think we went out four times."

Winter's arrival this weekend kept Rafshol busy. He's been clearing driveways and parking lots non-stop for 48 hours.

"I just try and rest as much as I can before, then I'm good to go until the job is done," he explained.

For retailers like Jerry's Hardware in Edina, the storm brought a business boom as well as a change in scenery.

"Went to pull the snow blower last night and pilled it about 40 times before I figured, 'I got to get a new snow blower," Tyler Simmons told FOX 9 News.

Though ordering seasonal stock can be a bit of a gamble, Matt Bastian said weekends like this one pay off.

"This is the weekend we've been waiting for, where you just get a huge snowfall," he said. "Especially after last year where we had almost nothing."

It can be a tough balancing act to make sure the books stay in the green while betting on Mother Nature's whims.

"Some years it's a lot of money," Rafshol said. "Some years, it's broke."

Yet, there are other businesses who slow down when the snow comes. Though it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the tree lots can actually be hurt by the very thing that puts many others in the holiday mood.

"No one likes to be out shopping for a Christmas tree in the snow," said Pat Peschel. "It definitely does slow things down."

The number of calls made to Triple A has more than doubled in the past two days -- mostly for trucks to tow stranded cars. No doubt, insurance agents and auto body shops are also doing a brisk bit of business thanks to the winter weather.

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