Chicago Weather: Cool weather impacting seasonal businesses

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The official start to summer is just a few days away, but it certainly doesn't feel like it. Many businesses that rely on warm weather are feeling the pinch from the cold right now.

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Seasonal businesses like the ones along the Chicago Riverwalk and lakefront are typically packed come summer, but this year, it's a ghost town on cold days.

"Last year June had 24 rainy wet days," said Mark Stern, owner of the Island Party Hut. "It didn't affect us as much as the constant cold here."

Asher Gershenzon's business, Urban Kayaks, employs 50 people and typically puts 22,000 people on the water each summer.

"It's definitely not good for business," Gershenzon said. "We're actually down about 50 percent in the start of the season from this time last year. But you know, we do about 75 percent of our business in July and August, so as long as it's nice in July and August, that's all that really matters"

While it doesn't have to be 85 degrees and sunny to enjoy a day along the water, business owners are noticing a dip in profits and are hoping summer shows up sooner rather than later. That includes businesses like Wheel Fun Rentals, which tries to stay open rain or shine, even on 50-degree days.

"You're going to have fun either way. We have canopies on the surreys here. It's a bonding experience being cold out here, biking around," said Sam Wynn, manager at Wheel Fun Rentals.

The businesses say all they can hope for is that the warm weather sticks around longer on the tail end of the season.
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