Record high temperatures affect Central Fla. businesses

Spring businesses see early boost, winter-based businesses see drop

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - The winter heat wave continues with Orlando hitting 84 degrees today and tying the record high for this day. The unusual weather is bringing a mixed bag to local businesses, with some seeing an increase in customers and others struggling.

At Apenberry's Gardens in College Park, Eric Apen tells Local 6 flowers like petunias and snap dragons, which are typically spring plants, are blooming more vividly than normal. And he says sales of herbs and vegetables like lettuce are up significantly.

"We start seeing these plants in mid to late February so we are a month, even six weeks ahead of schedule because the weather is so mild," he said.

Water parks like Wet and Wild were also busy. While park officials declined to comment on specific attendance numbers, they did say crowds were larger than a typical January day.

Alyssa Verillo is vacationing with her family. She says this week is much warmer than we she visited last winter.

"I think last year it was in the 60s, so still kind of chilly. I definitely wasn't prepared for 80 degree weather," she said.

It's a different story at Casselberry's Amaya Papaya Play Lounge. Owner Yolonda Tyler tell us December was her slowest month in four years of being in business.

"So slow we had to cut hours for employees. We had to come up with different ideas to make money and still because the weather outside is warmer than normal people would rather be outside. We need a blizzard in Florida," Tyler said.

Temperatures are expected to remain warmer than normal through the extended forecast.

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