Warm weather has downtown businesses blooming

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Betty Lam, who is visiting Roanoke from New York City, went shopping downtown wearing a winter coat on Monday.

Many shoppers are glad not to be walking in a winter wonderland like they did this time last year.

Serenity Treasures owner Dev Oli remembers the extreme cold a year ago.

"We had to shut down the store for several days. Business was not good," explains Oli.

That's not the case this week.

Instead of putting a chill on shopping, the warm weather has been great news for several downtown retailers.

"I decided to postpone my trip because of the warm weather, which is welcoming many people to Roanoke," continued Oli.

"People are coming out early for lunch, having a couple lunch rushes, everybody just wants to get out of the office and do something," explained Kristy Pilot, a manager at On the Rise Bakery.

Pilot said not only is her business up, but some 50 customers are coming in as early as 7 a.m.

Oli said this week his business is up in sales by at least 15 percent over last year.

Lam is one of many on a shopping frenzy, which doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon.