For some, business heats up when the weather gets cold

The Como Zoo Conservatory was about 100 degrees warmer than the outside air Monday.

Much of the Midwest has been in a bitter cold snap for about a week but for some businesses that means traffic is picking up.

Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul features indoor, tropical exhibits where the temperature hovers around 85 degrees, with humidity. That’s around 100 degrees warmer than it felt outside on Monday.

"You can feel the humidity, you can feel the wetness in the air and you can smell the earth smell the plants. It’s just a great place to be," spokesperson Matt Reinartz said.

He says when Governor Walz changed capacity limits for indoor entertainment, they saw even more visitors coming to the conservatory to escape the cold. Visitors still need to make an appointment online before visiting.

"When people come in here right away the hat comes off, the gloves come off, the jackets come off and they just look around and go this is amazing," Reinartz said.

The cold weather also means business heats up for indoor recreational facilities, like Vertical Endeavors Rock Climbing.

"It’s kind of like we’ve had cabin fever for almost a year now and people are ready to get out and do things but do it in a safe way," Vice President of Vertical Endeavors Tracy Paino said.

The indoor rock climbing facilities are still only serving customers at 25 percent capacity. Reservations are necessary before your visit. Paino says they’ve been filling up fast over the last week as people are looking for something active to do in bearable temperatures.

Cold weather also means dog daycares like Stone Mountain Pet Lodge in Brooklyn Park are busy.

"We’ve about doubled our daycare business, at least. Our normal is about 45 [dogs a day] and we hit 89 today," manager of Stone Mountain Pet Lodge in Brooklyn Park, Amber Bakken said.

She says dog owners typically don’t want to walk their dogs or play outside with them in the cold weather. Daycare is a chance for them to stay inside and get worn out. Bakken says dogs typically come in with more energy during this weather.

"They get their energy out, they go home, they’re tired and then their owners don’t have to take them on that long walk," Bakken said.