Frigid New Year's Eve affects area businesses - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Frigid New Year's Eve affects area businesses

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Dangerously cold weather covered parts of Iowa this weekend, but some brave eastern Iowans did not let the blistering cold stop them from ringing in the New Year. Some area bars say they were packed for the holiday, while others took a hit because of mother nature.

Wind chills in Cedar Falls Sunday night felt like 35 below zero. Some bar owners say they had a successful night, while others say numbers were low. While the ball was dropping so were the temps. Temperatures were 15 below zero, but that wasn't stopping some eastern Iowans from going out.

"The frost bite was a concern, so that was a real concern getting home, but no wouldn't stop me none," said Nick Fisher, Cedar Falls.

The cold put a damper on some New Year's Eve plans.

"It's almost as bad as getting 10 to 12 inches of snow, people hunker down," said Johna Petersen, Pump Haus Pub & Grill owner.

Petersen says she noticed the lack of customers at her bar.

"We weren't expecting a lot because of the cold, it was keeping people away, so we were really hoping for the best," said Petersen. "We ended up only being down probably about 20% from last year, we ended up having a pretty good night in spite of how bitterly cold it is."

While Petersen says she had less people at her bar this year than last year, other bars say they had a packed house. Octopus on College Hill says they weren't expecting the large crowd.

"No not with the cold... not with it negative a million outside," said Audrey Robinson, Octopus manager. "We had 110 people pay to get in last night, it was really incredible."

In fact, New Year's Eve is always the busiest night of the year for Octopus. Robinson says the cold never stops their dedicated crowd. Nick Fisher and his friends spent the night listening to live bands at Octopus.

"Well 2017 that was a good year to forget so I did a lot of that last night," said Fisher.

Employees at Whiskey Road say they closed after the dinner rush around 10:00 p.m. Employees say they would have stayed open if they got a late night crowd, but there weren't a lot of people coming in to watch the ball drop.

Most restaurants and businesses are closed tonight, not just on Main Street in Cedar Falls, but elsewhere. Business hours should return to normal tomorrow.    

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