GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The arrival of warm temperatures is welcome relief after a long, snowy and cold startto spring, especially for businesses that rely on warm days.
Famous Dave's in Plymouth opened its patio for the first time on Friday, because up until then, it still had a coating of snow.
And forget the sound of birds. It's the sound of an exhaust pipe that marks the beginning of spring for those who ride.
Linda and Stu Wicklund of Greenfield wereexcited Saturday that it was finally warm enough to take their motorcycle on the road.
They stopped in to the St. Paul Harley-Davidson dealership to do a little shopping before they met up with friends for a road trip.
"When we first got on the bike, I said, 'I have one word and it's ahhhh!'" said Linda.
Angie O'Keefe'sfather owns the dealership where she also works as the merchandise manager.She said the warm weather is "a Godsend for our company."
She said April was a tough month compared to previous years. Many of those who have had motorcycles in storage at the dealership didn't start taking them home until this weekend. She saidbike ownersusually start picking them up in March.
O'Keefe also said motorcycles lined up on the showroom floor weren't budging until this weekend.
"I came up to our sales manager and said, 'We got a good problem. You've got holes in the sales floor,'" saidO'Keefe. "People are ready to ride and they're buying bikes."
The dealership's repair shop is busy too. Bikers are rolling out andready to spend money.
"We support the economy. We're not participating in any recession," said Stu Wicklund.
And flowers are rolling off the trucks at Linder's Flower Marts. It's opening weekend.
The bright color that arrived at the Saint Anthony Village location was a sharp contrast to the ugly, dirty snow pile still sharing the parking lot where the flower mart sits.
They are nine days behind schedule for opening.
Manager Stella Roman said in the eleven years she's been in charge of that location, this is the first time she remembers opening late.
"It's been kind of a little bit nerve-wracking, but kind of exciting," said Roman. "It kind of ramps you up for being excited about opening."
Linder's officials don't think they'll suffer economically from the late spring. They think customers will buy just as many plants to brighten their yards this season, just in a shorter period of time.
They plan to open a few Flower Marts each day so that all are open by next weekend.