Warmer weather brings relief to many businesses impacted by pandemic

Brett Hoffland
Updated: March 05, 2021 06:19 PM
Created: March 05, 2021 03:12 PM

As temperatures climb even higher, warmer weather means Minnesotans will be eager to get outside.

This is also a welcome forecast for many businesses, including restaurants and gyms that have had to adapt over and over again during the last year.

"It's been quite insane, to be honest with you," said JJ Maleitzke, director of operations for Blue Plate Restaurant Company.

More tables are filling up inside The Freehouse in Minneapolis, but the work to get to this point hasn't been easy.

"Curbside, delivery, we've turned into a machine when it comes to that," Maleitzke said.

Maleitzke said he knew the patio would be a hit this weekend when he saw the forecast.

"I did a little dance move I think, spring has sprung. Sixties coming, 60s next week, the energy is real," Maleitzke said.

Like restaurants, gyms have experienced some dark days during the pandemic.

"It's been challenging," said Steven Nicholas, general manager of Skybox Gym.

Nicholas said they've been resilient at their St. Louis Park and St. Paul locations, adapting to different restrictions by offering members opportunities to work out virtually or socially distanced with masks inside.

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"We were really tight with our restrictions and making sure everyone was safe and making sure that anyone who walked into our space felt comfortable," Nicholas said.

Nicholas agreed, saying the warmer temperatures are an added boost to their business.

"So good, I mean how could you not feel good when you see a five in front of the temperature with no negative?" Nicholas said.

They're taking advantage of it by offering an outdoor workout for members in their parking lot on Sunday.

"Some people still aren't comfortable being inside this space but you can be outside safely working out and still be in a community and still getting that group class feel," Nicholas said.

Whether it's getting in shape indoors or outdoors, Nicholas is grateful for a gym community that's been flexible and committed to keeping their doors open.

"We had a lot of support from our community, which was amazing, it's why we got through this," Nicholas said.

So, whatever outdoor activity you choose, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a preview of spring in Minnesota.

"I think we've all earned this and it's been a long time coming," Maleitzke said.

Both Skybox and The Freehouse agreed that, as these warmer temperatures are more consistent, it can only help business during this pandemic when lots of people prefer to stay outside.

For more information about dining or workout classes at Skybox and The Freehouse online.


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