Weather helps, hinders summer business

Halfway through the summer area businesses that thrive in good weather are reporting a solid but not gold-medal year.

Halfway through the summer area businesses that thrive in good weather are reporting a solid but not gold-medal year.

“I think it will probably be a medium year. It wouldn’t be more than that,” sums up Steve Pritchard, owner of Sylvan Lake’s Big Moo Ice Cream Parlour and the nearby Moo More Ice Cream.

“We had some better days. But we had lots of rain too.”

A big plus in Sylvan Lake this year is the completion of the Lakeshore Drive redevelopment project. What for the past couple of years has been a construction zone has now been transformed into an extended park and pedestrian thoroughfare.

Steve’s son Mark, who runs Nomads Skate, Surf and Snow, gives the season a positive review so far.

“You know what, I think it’s going pretty good.

“The weather’s helped. Compared to last year, the weather’s a lot better.

And with all these new changes we’ve done in Sylvan Lake people are coming out and loving it,” said Pritchard.

Out at Spirit Creek Golf and Country Club manager Sharon Edmundson is also seeing some improvement over last year.

“May and June were great,” she said.

“The weather was nicer and warmed up sooner than it did last year.”

Overall, she rates the weather since only “so-so.”

In July, temperatures soared to the 30s, which proved a little too warm for many.

“Golfers, when it gets to be too hot, they don’t like playing.”

Edmundson expects a solid month in August if the weather holds because many people will have finished their vacations.

The weather seems to have affected saskatoon berry crops. Henry Penner was out picking them near 60th Street in Riverside Meadows.

There were plenty to be had, but they were smaller than usual, said Penner.

Environment Canada meteorologist Colin Fong said for those who felt like July was hotter and wetter than usual — they were right.

The typical average maximum temperature for the month is 22.3 C and this past month it was 24 C, hitting 31 C on the hottest day on July 9.

But there was also more rain than is typical. The average for the month is 93.1 mm and July came in at 123.4 mm.

“All it takes though is one really good thunder cell to move over. You could get a quarter of that in one hour.”

There is some good news for the rest of the season. Over the next three months, Environment Canada is projecting warmer-than-normal temperatures.

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