Businesses balance costs of opening, closing amid ice, snow, frigid weather

Posted February 19, 2015

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— Businesses warmly greeted customers Thursday, some for the first time in days because of the double dose of ice and snow across central North Carolina since Monday night.

"Even when the schools aren't back in, we know families want to get out and have a warm place to play, and so we try to get our doors open," said Britt Thomas, vice president of Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh.

Marbles was closed Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thomas said people were lined up waiting to get in by Thursday morning.

Dozens of school groups from across the region missed scheduled visits to the museum and its Imax theater in the past two days, and all will have to reschedule.

"We schedule about 600 to 700 school kids a day between the museum and Imax visits, so we’ve probably lost 2,000," she said.

Rescheduling is tougher for restaurant owner Holly Viall, who kept Holly's on Hargett closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

"(With) restaurants, you're never going to get that money back," Viall said. "You're going to miss that whole day, and they're going to eat somewhere else – at home or at another restaurant."

Still, Viall said she had to balance the loss of business against her employees' safety.

"Most of my back-of-the-house employees live in Franklin County, so you know, I kind of felt bad about them coming and going back," she said.

Although the frigid weather is sticking around a few more days, her phone is starting to ring again.

"Hopefully I've had more people calling to come than canceling, and we've got a pretty good weekend coming up," she said. "I think everybody's ready to get out."


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