This has been another cool wet week on Vancouver Island and concern is mounting among weather dependent businesses that they’ll be able to recover from all the losses in traffic they’ve seen this summer because of the rain.
From outdoor amusement parks to u-picks, businesses say customers just haven’t been showing up like in years before, as our June and July, more closely resembles January, with all the wet days we’ve been experiencing.
Putting out the closed sign on her family’s mini golf course, instead of putters is becoming a daily task for Sara Winter. The unseasonably cool wet weather not helping her family’s seasonal Duncan business one bit.
“Nobody can mini golf in the rain so it definitely has an impact on that,” says Sara Winter of Fun Pacific Golf Centre.
She estimates business is down 50 per cent. “It’s definitely been slower than most summers and winters,” she says.
It’s the same story at Dudink’s Garden U-Pick south of Nanaimo.
“What happens is when it rains people don’t show up,” says Nick Dudink. “They want nice berries and nice weather haha.”
But its no laughing matter when it comes to the profit losses caused by all this precipitation.
“Financially it’s less income of course,” says Dudink who’s been growing berries on this south Nanaimo farm for 40 years. “35 to 40 per cent (down). How do you make that up? Well we’ll have to make it up somewhere yeah.”
Weather dependent businesses are holding out hope the sunny days are just around the clouds, since this is so unusual especially considering last year’s record drought and heatwaves.
But the silver lining of all the clouds, is the health its restored to gardens and forests that were so devastated by last year’s drought. Gardener Tim Mitchell says this time last year lawns had stopped growing, trees were on the verge of dying across the Island and many gardeners were looking for other jobs.
“It’s lovely Yeah it’s just lovely,” says the groundskeeper at the BC Forest Discovery Centre. “I mean we’re getting a little bit of rain now which we could all use the forest fire dangers aren’t as bad as last year.”
Though businesses that make their money when the sun shines would like to see a little more balance to this flip side kind of summer that’s now as full of uncertainty as it is rain.