The first week of fall is now in the books and it’s been full of sunshine in Calgary — a stark contrast to the weather in the province this time last year.
It’s welcome news for seasonal businesses that rely on warmer weather and sun.
“The longer, the better,” Calgary River Wheels owner Jordan Stein said.
“The longer season is definitely good for business. We’ve had lots of calls over the last week and even for the upcoming weekend for bike rentals.”
Stein founded Calgary River Wheels in 2018.
The bike rental season was cut short in 2019 due to “Snowtember” and a record-breaking snowstorm on Sept. 29, 2019. According to Environment Canada, 24.6 centimetres of snow fell at the Calgary International Airport, making it the snowiest September day on record.
This year has come with a whole new set of challenges, with the small business trying to weave its way through safely operating during a pandemic.
“I expected nothing this year,” Stein admitted.
But in an effort to salvage at least some of the season, she opted to drastically change her business operations.
The business has gone mobile, now offering a delivery service to drop off the fold-up bikes to people renting them.
It has also had to downsize its rental availability, now only offering full-day rentals instead of half-day or hourly rentals to ensure proper sanitization.
Still, it’s been a tough year, so every extended day of the season makes a difference, according to Stein.
“They just mean extra opportunity to make up lost revenue because of COVID,” Stein said.
She takes every chance to support other small businesses also struggling during the pandemic.
Along with each rental comes a free map of the inner city that points out some attractions that are easy to cycle to and local businesses you can stop at while riding around Calgary.
– With files from Heide Pearson