The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 6, 2014

Winter storm slows downtown business in Danville

— DANVILLE — Recent winter storms have kept customers indoors and away from some Mill Street businesses.

“The winter weather has actually affected us pretty poorly,” said Dan Rickmers, a manager at Old Forge Brewing Company. “We haven’t seen as much business on a typical Wednesday lunch as we usually would.”

He estimated that lunch patrons were down about 50 percent on Wednesday from usual weekdays. “This is one of the worst I’ve seen so far,” he said. A few of their customers today entered when they saw that BJ’s Steak and Rib House, located across the street, was closed until 4 p.m. due to the weather.

Rickmers lives within walking distance to Old Forge, which is why he was able to open on time Wednesday.

The business was also affected by the winter storm from a few weeks back, but as that occurred in the evening it did not set them back as much, he said. It did cause the brewing company to close early due to the drop off in business, though.

Wednesday’s weather also affected Willie Barbossa, owner of Chef Willie’s Creamery.

“I did good for breakfast but lunch was kind of slow,” he said. Bad weather definitely affects business along Mill Street, he said. “People don’t want to come out when it’s cold.”

His business hours were unaffected by snow and ice this season.

“I’m sure there will be a fall off in foot traffic and vehicular traffic because it’s harder for people to get around,” said Jim Wilson, executive director of the Danville Business Alliance.

Adding to the reduced traffic is school closures, which means kids are at home and their parents likely took time off as well to watch over them, he said.

However, it’s not out of the ordinary for the season, he said. “This is just part of winter in northcentral Pennsylvania.”

The weather wasn’t bad for all Danville businesses, though. Carla Leighow, proprietor of Center Street’s Abigail House Bed and Breakfast, hasn’t noticed any change brought on by the snow. “Nobody has canceled a reservation or anything because of the weather,” she said. “We’re kind of status quo.”

She estimates that the Abigail House has increased in business since its opening a year ago. We’re definitely seeing more guests come through the doors, she said.

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