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Friday, May 27, 2022

It might not come as a surprise to shivering Gators that the recent cold snap is freezing business for some of Gainesville’s hot spots.

The chill has interrupted the typical warm-weather routine that makes up the majority of many businesses’ income.

Mandi Navaro, owner of Golden Gator Tanning, said this winter has been especially bad for business.

“I still have my regulars who don’t go without a tan, but less people are coming in,” she said.

The weather has also impacted business for The Swamp Restaurant. While the restaurant has multiple indoor rooms and a bar, outdoor seating is also frequently used.

“When it gets really, really, really cold, you’ve got to seat the same customers in half the space,” said events and office manager Kathleen Williams.  “We do it fairly well, but it’s a challenge.”

Yogaberry, a popular frozen yogurt shop that replaced Dejá Brew this fall, is using the weather to its advantage to promote its lesser-known coffee products.

“The other sales have taken a hit with these crazy temperatures,” manager Kyle Turner said about recent frozen yogurt sales.

Turner added he was not surprised by the sales that dropped along with the temperature.

“We know that when it warms up and spring rolls around, that’s when everybody’s coming,” he said. 

Starting Monday, Turner said Yogaberry will offer $1 coffees and $2 lattes to cater to chilled students on a college budget.

However, other stores that cater more strictly to the frozen-treat crowd must pursue a different strategy than coffee.

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Michael Herbert, assistant manager of TCBY on Southwest 34th Street, said the ice cream chain sees a decrease in sales every year with the cold weather.

“This year has been a little slower, but there’s also a decrease probably because of the increase in competition,” he said.

Herbert also said TCBY is offering daily specials, but for the most part, the company plans to wait for the cold to pass.

Herbert added the frozen yogurt business usually picks back up around spring break, when students can trade in fur boots for flip-flops and scarves for sunglasses.

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