The early arrival of winter and above-normal snowfall are bringing joy to the hearts of some Headingley business owners.
"It’s amazing how you can sell snowmobiles when there’s snow on the ground," joked Headingley Sport Shop owner Jill Ruth.
The family-owned business has sold Polaris machines for 43 years, and Ruth said sales of other winter-related merchandise such as snowmobile helmets and jackets also increased, especially prior to Christmas.
During a Christmas such as the one in 2011, with little or no snow on the ground, shoppers aren’t as likely to buy winter sporting items.
Adrenaline Adventures owner Jason Rohs said this has been the best winter yet for his three-year-old business, located near the Perimeter Highway. His operation offers snow tubing, snowboarding and skating, with a second-floor restaurant that overlooks the tubing and snowboarding hill.
Rohs said last year’s warmer winter meant that he and his staff were kept busy making snow, but Mother Nature has provided a good cover for the hills this winter. He was able to open for winter business on Nov. 27, and had between 200 and 300 people out on Dec. 15.
The business has 200 tubes of varying sizes available and they can be linked together so parents can safely slide down the hill with their children.
"We’ve just introduced six different obstacles on the snowboard hill," he said, adding that he plans to enlarge the hill later this year.
Boarders and skaters are required to bring their own equipment. Rohs said helmet use is encouraged but not mandatory.
"Safety is one thing that we pride ourselves on," he said.
The owner of a Headingley snow removal service said his clients pay a flat fee to cover service for the winter. The more snow that falls, the busier he and his employees are, although a set fee structure means they don’t earn any extra money.
However, if this winter’s heavier than usual snowfall continues, he said he might gain a few new clients who are tired of dragging out their shovels more often.