Businesses benefit from break in cold weather

Local store, golf course hit hard by low temperatures

ROANOKE, Va. – After a record-tying 210 hours at or below freezing, people all across southwest Virginia finally got the chance to thaw out Tuesday, and businesses reaped the benefits.

"We’re definitely happy to have a break in the cold. We're seeing more and more people down here, so it's good," Gypsy Palooza Too owner Katy Newberry said.

As the mercury rose Tuesday, so did the number of customers coming into Gypsy Palooza Too in downtown Roanoke.

It's a much-needed boost for businesses in the market area that rely on foot traffic.

"We get a lot of tourists that go to hotels and then they come down here, and a lot of people on their lunch break, so if it's cold, they're bringing lunch from home. They're not coming out," Newberry said.

From the stores to the golf course, many businesses have taken a hit in the brutal cold.

"This is the first time we've been out this year," golfer Stan Simons said.

"Nothing’s been happening. We've been closed," Brookside Par 3 Golf Course co-owner Diana Crandall said.

The greens at Brookside Par 3 Golf Course have been empty every day since Dec. 28.

"You have to get to a certain temperature before the greens will thaw out, and you know, they get a little hard," Simons said.

"We haven't had any business, so no income at all," Crandall said.

That changed Tuesday, as Crandall was finally able to open the golf course.

"We just make do, try to put a little something aside in the summertime when we are making money for the periods that are like this," Crandall said.

Crandall is hopeful that Mother Nature will be a little more kind in the coming weeks, keeping business on par.

"Some spring-like weather that'll bring a lot of people out. We'll see,” Crandall said.