Sales heat up

High temperatures add to business profits

High temperatures add to business profits

August 03, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

TRI-STATE - Area residents trying to deal with the sweltering heat are adding to the profit margin of some local businesses.

Cassco Ice and Cold Storage Inc. in Martinsburg, W.Va., almost doubled the amount of ice it sends out this week, Raymond Kwek said.

"We can't make it as fast as demand," he said.

Normally, Cassco sends out about 80 tons of ice a day. This week, the company has shipped out about 150 tons per day to grocery stores and gas stations within a 100-mile radius, Kwek said.

Cassco employees also have a "cool area to work," Kwek said.

Most of the work is done in a room where the ice is stacked, and temperatures remain cool, Kwek said. In the room where ice is made, it's 28 degrees, he said.


Window unit air conditioners also are in demand.

Dunn and Seibert Inc. in Martinsburg usually sells about 40 air conditioners a week during summer months, Peggy Kraham said. This week, that number has at least doubled, she said.

Kraham said that people shell out anywhere from $150 to $700 per air conditioner for the cool air.

Spicher's Appliance Inc. in Hagerstown sold most of its air conditioners Monday and Tuesday, sales manager Jim South said.

"We're down to some of the smaller sizes," he said.

In a normal summer week, Spicher's would sell about 10 units. But, in this heat, the business has sold about 50 units, South said.

It's so hot that people aren't even venturing outdoors for ice cream.

"When it is stinking hot out, people do not come out," said Wayne Eury at The Big Dipper on Virginia Avenue.

Eury said he expects to be busy this weekend, when temperatures are closer to 80 degrees.

Customers have lined up at Dairy Queen's drive-through on Dual Highway.

"A lot of people really haven't come up to the window, I guess because it's so hot," said assistant manager Kara Price.

Price said Dairy Queen's biggest seller this week is its signature cold coffee treat, the Moolatte.

Allegheny Power reported no outages associated with the heat Wednesday morning in Washington County.

On Tuesday, a transformer on Pennsylvania Avenue had to be replaced. It was "likely" that the transformer was overloaded by the heat, company spokesman Allen Staggers said.

Staggers said that during the summer months, air conditioning is the biggest user of energy.

Allegheny Power has asked its customers to be mindful of conserving power during the heat wave, he said.

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