There's No Business Like Snow Business: Firms That Rake It In During Winter This year's heavy snow is bad news for many businesses, such as retailers and airlines. But other firms are profiting from the storms. Among them are the obvious — ski resorts and hardware stores. But it's also a good time to own a liquor store.
NPR logo

There's No Business Like Snow Business This Winter

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133477343/133489133" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
There's No Business Like Snow Business This Winter

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Now, let's talk about the economic effects of the weather. The heavy snow in many parts of this country has been hard on businesses, like retailers and airlines, but others are profiting from the storm, as NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH: There are some obvious businesses getting a windfall from every snowfall, like ski resorts, hardware stores, and of course, anyone with a snowplow.

(SOUNDBITE OF SNOWPLOW)

PAT PERRY: Very, very busy.

SMITH: Sixty-five-year-old Pat Perry has made nearly a year's income in a month, clearing shopping center parking lots like this one. Joseph Biotti is on the plow behind him.

JOSEPH BIOTII: One man's meat is another man's poison. That's all I can say. Yeah. Very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SMITH: Also raking it in are the crews who are raking snow from rooftops so they don't collapse. They've been getting up to $500 an hour.

BOB BRUNO: Our phones are ringing off the hook. We can't even get to all the stuff that's calling.

SMITH: That's Bob Bruno, from John Henry Roofing in Boston.

BRUNO: In 42 years of roofing, I never seen this much weight on roofs, and that's the truth. It's insane.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS AND HONKING HORNS)

SMITH: The storms have meant overtime for first responders, and tow-truck drivers like Brendon O'Shea, who are suddenly flush.

BRENDON O: I'm going to the Super Bowl.

SMITH: Are you really?

SHEA: Yeah. But so busy I can't really stop to talk to you.

SMITH: Unidentified woman: Ice hit it right there.

DAN CURRAN: Exactly. Right there. You can tell. Snow blower could have hit you right there also.

SMITH: Dan Curran at JN Phillips Auto Glass has got a line out the door of cars clobbered by snow and ice.

CURRAN: This winter is beautiful. I know people don't like the snow, but in our business, the more snow, the merrier.

SMITH: And speaking of merriment, every time forecasters predict a flurry that might close schools, Urban Grape wine store owner Scott Brown says he sees a flurry of parents.

SCOTT BROWN: There seems to be a little courage necessary in some of those households. And they do stop here to get a supply of that.

SMITH: Tovia Smith, NPR News, Boston.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.