Dec 072004
Authors: Hallie Woods

When the Colorado winter begins to storm in, ski resorts prepare for the height of their business season. However, some local businesses around Fort Collins deal with a large decrease in customers and revenue.

"On a really busy summer night, we have seven people working. During the winter, only one or two people are here," said Darren Gennetten a freshman open-option seeking art major and a manager at Walrus Ice Cream, 125 W. Mountain Ave.

Although Walrus Ice Cream offers seasonal ice cream flavors such as eggnog, pumpkin and peppermint, business slows down a lot, Gennetten said.

"Espresso drinks become more popular; they're our backup," Gennetten said.

While some establishments slow down, others simply change the services they offer.

Plant nurseries such as Fort Collins Nursery, 2121 E. Mulberry St., add an additional component to their regular tree, plant and flower sales. According to the nursery's Web site,, the establishment caters to the holiday season by selling fresh-cut Christmas trees and holiday wreaths.

Ty Sturgeon, a junior landscape architecture major, finds his job at Mac's Lawn Service very different in the winter than in the summer.

"In the summer we work 40 to 60 hours a week mowing, doing maintenance and landscaping," Sturgeon said. "Then it slows down until it snows. When the snow comes we go out on 10- to 15-hour stretches plowing snow."

Gennetten notices a lot of change in the way he works during the winter, too.

"Work is really boring (in the winter) and my tips always drop," Gennetten said.

While some companies face a decline in income or change their products and services in the winter, some Fort Collins businesses do not feel the seasonal effects r as much as others.

"We sell different things during different seasons, but the business is so student-driven, weather isn't really a consideration," said Mark Williams, owner of The Alley Cat coffee shop, 120 1/2 W. Laurel St.

The Alley Cat's products range from smoothies and iced coffees to warm drinks during the winter.

Williams said The Alley Cat really only sees a change in revenue during the summer when some students leave Fort Collins.

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