Winter businesses clean up in snowy weather

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Winter themed stores like The Slope are making a profit off this winter's cold, snowy weather.  Sunday, March 3, 2019, Sandy Begnoche stopped by for lift tickets and found herself trying on ski boots, too. Winter themed stores like The Slope are making a profit off this winter's cold, snowy weather. Sunday, March 3, 2019, Sandy Begnoche stopped by for lift tickets and found herself trying on ski boots, too.
With most stores having already switched to their spring line-ups, winter themed stores like The Slope are doing brisk sales Sunday afternoon, March 3, 2019. With most stores having already switched to their spring line-ups, winter themed stores like The Slope are doing brisk sales Sunday afternoon, March 3, 2019.
Kansas kids took advantage of this late snow fall to get another day of sledding in on Sunday afternoon, March 3, 2019. Kansas kids took advantage of this late snow fall to get another day of sledding in on Sunday afternoon, March 3, 2019.
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

"It does have a big impact," said David Eastwood who owns The Slope, a skiing themed store in Wichita.  "People in Wichita forget that Kansas is a winter state."

Businesses that make their money off winter are coming out the big winners this year as the cold and snow drag on.  When it comes to cold weather gear there are only a handful of places still selling it at this point.  Chain stores have already switched over to their spring line-ups.  Add that to this weekend's snow and stores still stocked with coats, gloves, and all things warm are hot spots in the cold city.

"I've got family members that think I'm crazy," said Sandy Begnoche.  

She was at The Slope Sunday picking up some last minute items for a ski trip next week.  She came in looking for lift tickets but found herself eying ski boots, too.

"When you have a purpose to be in the cold and the snow, and you dress for it, it's just so much fun!" she said.

Sandy's not a fan of the cold and snow here in Kansas though.

"Here in Wichita you can shovel it and, unfortunately, drive safely in it.  There's nothing fun about it, I don't think," she grimaced.

Shop owner David Eastwood has a very different perspective. He says the snow and cold over the weekend brought the shoppers through his doors faster than ever.

"I can't put a percentage on it," he said about the weather's impact on his sales. "But cold weather here in Wichita makes people think about Colorado...This year it is true.  Colorado's getting a tremendous amount of snow.  It was good early.  It's been fantastic all through the year.  They're still getting storms."

Which means good skiing into April, he said.  It also means, after several years of mild sales due to milder winters, things are looking up at The Slope.  

A lack of competition this late in the year doesn't hurt either, bringing in not just skiers but anyone in need of winter gear to Eastwood's shop.

"So yeah, we've got a lot of young people coming in getting socks, gloves, maybe a hat or a beanie, just so they can get outside and play in it," Eastwood said.  He likes the snow and cold of this winter.  "Hopefully it will keep coming."

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