Feeling ... Hot, hot hot! - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Feeling ... Hot, hot hot!

Recent heat wave has summer business sizzling

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Posted: Monday, July 9, 2012 12:00 am

It had been a cool summer through June, but since the Fourth and especially this weekend it was hot. And so was business for many North Idaho businesses.

Kolton Moreno, an employee at Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard Company, described the weekend as "crazy busy."

From the cool 50- and 60-degree weather of June to the blazing hot weather in the 90s this weekend, there hasn't been much in between. City Beach in Coeur d'Alene was packed with crowds all weekend.

At Hayden Lake, Honeysuckle Beach was flooded with people seeking a place to launch their boat or find a sandy place near the shore. Parked trucks and boat trailers lined the road leading to the boat launch, and parking was scarce for beach goers.

Moreno said, "We're doing a ton of business."

He said many of the customers walking in are from Canada, Spokane and Montana.

"They're coming from all over," Moreno said.

The super hot weekend has provided a bump in both rentals and sales, with standard paddleboards selling for around $1,300.

"Every day I come in it's looked like the walls are bare," Moreno said. "All our paddleboards are rented constantly. We can't keep the boards in the shop."

Coeur d'Alene Paddleboard, located at 512 E. Sherman Ave., is in its third summer.

Others have done just as well in the hot streak.

"We had a really good week, especially the downtown store," said Lee Hagen, a supervisor for JAMMS Frozen Yogurt, which has two Coeur d'Alene locations. "The downtown store counts on the summer, like a lot of stores down there."

The downtown store is walking distance from City Beach, and is located at 213 E. Sherman Ave., where Hagen spends four days a week. It opened in August of last year.

Since the Fourth of July the downtown location has been bustling. The original JAMMS location in Coeur d'Alene was opened in June of last year at 3500 N. Government Way.

She said the Government Way location stays busy all year with a loyal customer base.

Sales downtown have doubled or tripled, she said, since the hot weather arrived.

A lot of JAMMS' recent customers downtown are from Canada, she said.

"Lots of them have been down for a three-day weekend," she said.

At the Boathouse bar and grill, on Hayden Lake, business has tripled since the Fourth of July, said Henry Nowak, chef and general manager. During the past three days in particular, business has been roaring.

"With a business like that we wait for the nice weather," said Nowak. "It's been night and day" compared with June.

People play on the lake for hours, then rush to get drinks and food.

"We get busy so fast with this kind of weather," Nowak said. "It just gets crazy."

Kerry Prather, of KJ Watersports in Coeur d'Alene, said Saturday started with a few reservations.

"But because of the weather we had quite a few people pull up and want jet skis or boats, so we were pretty much slammed Saturday for five or six hours straight," Prather said.

KJ provides ski boat, jet ski and pontoon boat rentals, and the business has a two-month peak in the summer, he said. This weekend was the best so far.

"We get a lot of people who are staying in vacation homes who come in," he said.

He anticipated a busier than normal Sunday, too, because of the scorching heat.

Some new business are trying to cash in on the hot business of summer.

Rhonda Bethel set up a food truck along Ramsey Road for the first time Sunday, selling pulled pork, beef and chicken sandwiches, along with some comfort foods.

The business, Twisted Sisterz, counts on hot weather, so customers are more likely to get out of their vehicle and walk up to her window and place an order. Her rig is parked in front of Kootenai Truck and Auto Repair, at 3450 N. Ramsey Road.

"Not having a stand-alone restaurant, hot weather is vital," she said. "Without it we're not even going to be here."

• Saturday's high of 93 degrees made it the hottest day in Coeur d'Alene this year - until Sunday, when the high reached 96 degrees. Today's predicted high is 97 degrees.

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