Cold weather affects businesses

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Frigid temperature have affected local businesses and events.

The Mizpah Shrine Circus Committee plans for the circus all year long, knowing that the weather could be a factor.

“As we took the phone calls all day Friday and Saturday, we just ask everybody to take their time coming to us and on their way out the door, we just wish them well and reminded them to drive safely on the way home,” said Michael Hardiek, a member of the Mizpah Shrine Circus Committee.

Still, in its 68 years, it’s always been in January.

“The community known when its going to be, if we don’t move it around, then they know the week before the Super Bowl, the family goes to the circus,” said Hardiek.

This year, with record-breaking conditions, organizers were worried about ticket sales.

“We were very surprised at how many people toughed the cold, toughed the roads and actually made it to the circus itself.”

Concerns were about the same for businesses.

“We have not experienced a winter like this downtown for the Pint & Slice, this is by far the worst we’ve seen the weather,” said Owner Andrew Thomas.

“The cold really gets to me sometimes, it’s more the windchill if anything,” said Richard Parker, a loyal customer of Pint & Slice.

Even so, customers like Parker continue to pile into Pint and Slice.

“It obviously affects us, the polar vortex hasn’t kept people away, but it’s actually changed a lot of what we’re doing,” said Thomas.

For example, more customers want take-out or delivery.

 Thomas also has a Pine and Slice in Angola. He said that store has been hit harder since its location is more rural. Sales there are down by 20 to 30 percent.

“Being downtown, we haven’t had to deal with big drifts and road closures and stuff like that, so as long as we can keep thedoor open and people can walk to us, we’re going to be okay,” said Thomas.

NewsChannel 15 also checked in with the Outdoor, Sports, Lake and Cabin Show. Although official numbers aren’t in yet, organizers said they could tell attendance was down.


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