Cold summer has chilling effect on some businesses - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cold summer has chilling effect on some businesses


IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The National Weather Service reports below average temperatures for August, following the coldest Iowa July on record, which begs the question: where did summer go? The chillier-than-normal weather has impacted pools, produce farmers, and lakeside businesses. They say summer simply wasn't long enough.

It's driven boaters away from Scale's Pointe at Coralville Lake, according to Tanya Rich, bar manager at Bobber's Grill. She says there haven't been many nice weekends for them to enjoy.

"Some people go back into the coves, where it's a little more sheltered if they're just out for a little leisurely boat trip, so that works out for them," said Rich. "But to be flying across the water, I think it might be a little uncomfortable."

For every boat that doesn't show, her shop loses out on a $5 registration fee, and whatever money its passengers may have spent on gas or food. And speaking of food, heat-loving crops like tomatoes have suffered, along with the people who sell them.

"The tomatoes aren't quite as large as they should be," said Kathy Sternhagen, co-owner of Kirkwood's SunCountry Produce. It's caused some customers to turn their noses up, when she doesn't bring the big ones, even though the smaller ones taste just fine.

"I have had some get upset with me, and say, 'oh you didn't bring them,' and it's like, that's what I've got."

She's been running her greenhouse furnace at night so they can ripen, adding to her costs. Yields have also been smaller; Chad Prochaska of Prochaska Farm & Greenhouses could only muster one box for Monday's farmer's market at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids.

"And then with the rainfall, we've had issues with them splitting from being too wet," Prochaska explained.

Area pools are also closing earlier and more often, as in the case of the University Athletic Club. Assistant Manager Nathan Billups says it's shortened several days for pool staff. "You know, you can't afford to pay staff and be out there doing nothing."

The UAC pool isn't alone. The Coralville and North Liberty pools have had to close several days recently because of cool temperatures.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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