Local businesses eager for warm weather, spring - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local businesses eager for warm weather, spring

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The winter months have seemed to drag on in eastern Iowa this winter. It's the first official weekend of spring and signs of winter are melting away all across the state.  Gerald Lange is the golf course superintendent at Bunker Hill Golf Course in Dubuque. He said he hopes the winter continues to melt away.

"We had a lot of snow cover on the back 9. We scraped off the snow on number 14 and found two inches of ice underneath about 8 inches of snow. What we did was we actually had to go out with a tractor with a front end router and scrape that snow off the green so the ice was exposed. We then took a fertilizer called Milorganite, which is black, and we spread that over the ice and hope that the sun will attract," Lange said Sunday.

Lange said he has gone out and tested the ground with probes to see when they will be ready for the season.

"We have to go down and see where the frost levels are because we have to be able to cut a cup, which is about 8 inches into the ground," Lange said.

He said he anticipated Bunker Hill Golf Course in Dubuque opening the first weekend of April. George Stephenson is the head golf professional at Bunker Hill Golf Course. He said many golfers are getting restless.

"Everybody is just chomping at the bit, they are. I mean I am getting phone calls from Minnesota asking when we will be open," Stephenson said.

Stephenson said he has worked at Bunker Hill for 28 years. He said this is the 4th time in those 28 years he can remember the course opening in April.

Across town, workers at Bicycle World in Dubuque have been busy repairing bikes.

"We have a full basement down here. Every one is looking to get there bike in here sooner rather than later because they just keep stacking up," sales associate Nick Rhinehart said.

Bicycle World also sells and rents cross-country skis during the winter to customers. Rhinehart said the snow this winter helped cross-country ski sales.

"We had a lot of snow, so we had a lot of interested in cross county skis. So we kind of made our ground there. We had a lot of people renting skis and a lot of people buying skis. It's probably been one of our best years for cross country ski rentals," Rhinehart said.

Even with strong winter sales, Rhinehart said he is looking forward to the business the warmer weather and spring has to offer.

"We are seeing bike sales already, which is great. It just shows people are interested this season." Rhinehart said Sunday.

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