Chilly weather means winter-related businesses are heating up in Summit County

AKRON, Ohio - It may not be fun weather to experience as you walk outside to grab your morning paper or head off to work, but some businesses that thrive when the temperatures dip well below zero, are loving the cold snap.

Business has been booming at Boston Mills Ski Resort. Workers continue to make snow as long as the temperature stays below 28 degrees.

Steven Mackle, marketing director for Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Resort, said skiers are responding. Large crowds have hit the slopes each day since the season opener last Friday.

"I don't have the exact number, but it was crazy here. A lot of people are just excited to come out and get on the hill. Being in Ohio, skiers know that they only have a couple of months to get their skiing and snowboarding in," Mackle said.

Buckeye Sports Center at Boston Mills has definitely noticed a spike in sales. It's a welcome sight, especially after an unusually warm winter last year hurt the bottom line.

"The demand was really pent up. They opened up and we had lines everywhere, everyday. It has been a great opening weekend," said Pete Schram, manager of the store.

Carl Swan, the owner of Swan Hardware in Akron, said he has sold about eight pallets of rock salt and ice melt this winter season. That's about the triple the amount that was sold at this time last year. Swan expects demand to grow as the cold lingers.

"Probably sales haven't been quite what they should have been because people had stuff left over from last year. If it stays cold for another few weeks, we'll start selling more stuff," Swan said.

Lock 3 in Akron also expects to see a jump in the number of people visiting the ice rink and Reindeer Run, a man-made sledding hill that opened up last winter.

The cost to ride a sled down the hill is $3 for a half hour.

"The weather is being a lot more cooperative this year than it was last  year. It's (the hill) really fast," said Rachel Roukey, assistant manager of Lock 3.

Ice skates can also be rented for $3 or you can bring your own and skate for free.

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