NEGAUNEE — While many schools may have been closed Monday, businesses in downtown areas like Negaunee were still offering their goods to hearty customers braving the cold.
For such businesses, the sub-zero temperatures offer mixed results when it comes to the effect on customers. Sometimes the cold keeps visitors away, but that’s not always the case.
“One day last week, we were so busy, it was like ‘where did everybody come from?’ I think people get a little stir crazy after a certain amount of time being stuck in the house,” said Marybeth Kurtz, owner of Midtown Bakery and Cafe.
“When the sun’s out and the roads are good, we do get people that want to get out, look around, maybe buy something,” said Susan Lane, a clerk and vendor at the Old Bank Building Antique Stores.
“We actually have some of the best afternoons when it’s really cold out. When there’s a lot of snow, people come out,” Jackson’s Pit co-owner Ivy Ridenour said. “So, for us, it’s been a blessing actually.”
Many of the patrons visiting local downtown businesses are there not just to stop and shop. Instead, they head downtown for an outing.
“I think a lot of the traffic that comes downtown is more intent on doing that — making an afternoon out of it rather than just hitting the store they need to and get out,” added Kurtz. “Downtowns are really user-friendly that way, that you can run in and out of each shop and not feel the cold quite as much.”
Even when the thermometer is bottoming out, downtown businesses keep offering warm food and unique items in a tightly knit hometown space.