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‘Another snow day?!’ : Local businesses seeing more customers during arctic winter

CEDAR VALLEY, Iowa (KWWL) – It’s safe to say many Iowans are tired of winter.

Between a historic Polar Vortex at the end of January and even more snow this week, people may be going a little stir crazy.

KWWL visited popular hang out spots in the Cedar Valley to see what people are doing to cope with their winter blues.

Two businesses told KWWL they are seeing more families and kids during the day. A big reason for that: snow days. Some districts in the viewing area have canceled school more than half a dozen times in the past month.

The workers at Maple Lanes in Waterloo said the big rush this winter is a little surprising.

They said they didn’t expect to see so many bowlers in the dead of winter. But many people are making the most of the arctic temperatures.

“You would think people would want to stay indoors at their house,” Melissa Nicholas said. “But they get stir crazy and moms with kids want to get them out and do stuff, so we have been busier.” Nicholas has been working at Maple Lanes for more than 30 years.

When there are more people at the bowling alley, the employees need to make more food.

Nicholas said they’re going through pizza and cheese balls quicker than ever.

“We kind of expect it now. It’s kind of the norm,” Nicholas said with a chuckle. “‘Oh gosh, another snow day?!’ We’re going to be busy.”

While many other businesses are shutting down due to cold temperatures and snow, College Square Cinema stays open.

In fact, Kaitlyn Mettlin, the assistant manager, said in her five years working at the theater, they’ve only closed a handful of times.

“Well, part of it was a lot of other businesses were closed, so restaurants and other things people could do were closed,” she said. “But we stay open, [it’s] one of the few things people can do when there’s nothing else to do.”

Mettlin said the most popular movie right now is Lego Movie 2. 

She told KWWL they’ve seen plenty of kids enjoying Icee’s and ordering popcorn on their days off. Many kids go to the theater with their families, babysitters or daycares.

“It’s a really good time for family movies and a lot of kids’ movies with kids being out of school and everything,” Mettlin explained.

Here’s a list of a few indoor activities to do with your family in the Cedar Valley:

Olivia Schmitt

Weekend Anchor

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