Minnesota March: Winners and losers during an unusually cool spring

This unusual stretch of cool March weather has businesses and schools and sports organizations changing plans.

Some are looking like winners, but golf courses and their employees are among the losers.

There’s a splash of green on the greens of the Theo Wirth Golf Course, but white spreads out as far as you can see on the fairways and roughs.

Winter hasn’t quite given way to spring in Minnesota and Twin Cities temperatures haven’t climbed above 45 yet.

"It’s having a big impact on golf especially," said Larry Umphrey, the athletics director for Minneapolis Parks and Recreation. "A couple years ago we were already open and running. Last year, we opened right at the beginning of April."

He says the cool weather so far means opening day is at least three weeks away. They’re still waiting for snow and ice to melt and grounds to thaw.

Umphrey says they’ve already hired most of their seasonal golf employees, but those folks just won’t go to work until the courses can open.

They’re also not getting many lifeguard applications because nobody seems to be thinking about swimming in this weather.

People also seem to be too cold for Scoops.

Mark Wavinak used to open his Bloomington ice cream store in mid-April.

He started his 30th year in mid-March and has watched his sales mostly frozen at half what he’d expect.

"It’s still definitely worth being open but it’s casual during this time and it gets really busy during the summer where there’s a line out the door," said Wavinak. "But now’s the time to come if you don’t want to wait in line."

Maple syrup farmers usually like a cold start to spring.

"If anything, it’s been too cold for us," said Ryan Browne of Rising Sun Farm and Orchard in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Because high temperatures waffled between the 20s and 30s for so long, Rising Sun’s Ryan Browne says the good sap didn’t come out of his taps until weeks later than usual.

He started catching up last week, so he’s hoping any major warmup waits a little while longer.

"Average would be great," Browne said. "I think we’re on track for that as long as the next two weeks don’t warm up immediately, I think we’re going to have a good season."

Ski resorts are also benefiting from the extended winter-like weather.

Spirit Mountain in Duluth has already had a longer season than the last two years.

It’s open into April and could last even longer if the cool temperatures continue.