Dubuque businesses feel impact of long winter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque businesses feel impact of long winter

Snowboarders at Sundown Mountain in Dubuque Snowboarders at Sundown Mountain in Dubuque

The unusual cold start to spring this year is leading to long seasons for some local businesses, while other stores are noticing sales drop.

Sundown Mountain Resort in Dubuque had planned to end their season on March 17. The next day, the resort decided to remain open a week longer.

"We got some Facebook feedback. We asked the customers if they would like us to stay open. The snow conditions have been superb -- kind of epic, to say the least," said Sundown Mountain employee Kaitlyn Burds. "I think we have had four big storms or so the past month. We have plenty of snow and everyone was like, 'We don't want the season to end -- we want it to keep going."

The resort decided to extend their season until March 24. By extending their season, Sundown workers say they've developed stronger relationships with customers and increased the bottom line.

"It's just a passion for everyone to come out and ski," Burds said. "We make money for it ... it just kind of falls into place."

But some businesses are not so fortunate. For Bicycle World in Dubuque, the cold weather has impacted sales.

Workers say the cold weather has affected walk-in customers.

"People come in here when they are thinking about biking. When you look out your window on Palm Sunday and it's snowing, maybe cycling isn't the first thing on your mind," said Bicycle World employee David Hartig.

However, Hartig says loyal customers still continue to come in, snow or shine.

"I would say a strong majority of our business is service to an existing customer base. One of the things we are most proud of is that we have an enormously loyal customer base who continues to look to us to fill their needs year after year," said Hartig.

Hartig and other employees have used slow winter days as a means to prepare for the warm weather in the coming months -- a time when the business hopes to make up those lost sales.

"We look outside and we see the snow and we are reminded that no matter what kind of a day it is, being outside is better than being inside," Hartig said. "Being active outside is even better yet."

During the winter season, Bicycle World also sells winter sports items including cross-country skis and snow bikes.

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