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Cold weather, rain impacting Sylvan Lake businesses

A cold spring and wet beginning of summer is taking its toll on businesses in town

The cold spring and rainy start to summer has impacted the businesses and tourism in Sylvan Lake.

With the threat of rain and thunderstorms looming in the forecasts people are wary to venture out to a patio or plan for a day at the lake.

Kjeryn Dakin, owner of Bukwildz, Bukz and The Water Buffalo, says the weather has had an impact on her businesses.

“We had the winter apocalypse, and then we had the fires which kept everyone inside, and as soon as we had a couple of nice days then it started to rain,” said Dakin, but she isn’t going to be negative about the slow start to the season.

“You get more creative and all it’s doing is making me be like ‘okay, well what am I going to do to make sure I survive what’s coming next,’” added Dakin.

Dakin says she runs her business in a way where she is in the same position no matter what, but is concerned about the impact on tourism as it is the town’s major industry.

As the forecast continues to predict thunderstorms and tourists continue to stay home, the patios lining Lakeshore Drive aren’t filling up.

Dakin says the weather is also impacting her staffing and her newest addition, The Water Buffalo.

“It’s hard maintaining staff because you want to be able to give them all the shifts in the world and they depend on it, but if you can’t fill the spots,” explained Dakin. “Our employment’s lower than it ever has been too and I don’t like it like that. I love having 40 staff, full throttle.”

The Water Buffalo, the Bukz booze cruises, has only hit the water 10 times this season as result of the weather.

“We just really need summer to show up for us,” said Dakin.

Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce President Keri Pratt agrees with Dakin in the sense that businesses owners are able to adapt and overcome whatever is thrown at them.

“I think they’re going to be okay and I think it’s because they’ve weathered through stuff already and they’ve learned how to look at businesses differently,” said Pratt in a phone interview, adding the weather is a “little hiccup.”

With the Wood Shed Axe Throwing under her belt, Pratt says her and her fellow business owners know it’s not “an easy ride,” but do it because it’s their passion.

“Business owners do that because they want to fill a need that they see in town and because they want to help their local community,” said Pratt.

As mid-July approaches and the sun is finding time to peak out, Sylvan Lakers and tourists alike will hopefully be able to squeeze in some time on their favourite spot before the brutal Canadian winters sends everyone back indoors.

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