Despite extreme heat causing discomfort to Texomans, it is helping the economy. Local businesses say with these triple digit temperatures, they've been seeing a huge increase in sales. Castaway Cove, the Huskey Hat Company and Grape Ape all say sales have gone up at least 10 percent.
The Grape Ape has had so much extra business, Owner Elaine Holzer says they've actually had to increase their hours of operation. She says, "It was kind of slow right there in April, but it picked up. And I believe it's because all this heat." Holzer says they've been in business for about five years, and this has been the best year for them with sales increasing 15 percent over last year.
Castaway Cove is also seeing an enormous increase in business; Manager Ed Michel says attendance went up 40 percent yesterday. Michel says, "Castaway Cove has experienced a great increase in our attendance so far this year. Sunshine, warm weather makes people want to come out so they can cool off and enjoy the outside."
Brand new customers are spending money at the Husky Hat Company, where sales have also spiked 10 percent. Owner Stanley Rater says, "The doctor has either send them in to get under a shade, or they can feel the radiation from the heat damaging their skin so they come in to get a hat."
People have been crowding the Grape Ape and other snow cone stands across Wichita Falls. Grape Ape Owner Elaine Holzer says she's had so many customers, they've had to stay open past closing time to make sure to get to everyone in line. The Huskey Hat Company says it's seeing not only cowboys, but different construction and city workers come out to buy hats; all to protect themselves from the dangerous sun rays.