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Minnesotans extending season make patio heaters hot item

Therapist says people craving winter fun during COVID-19 have right idea

MINNEAPOLIS — Don’t look now, but as COVID restrictions linger, summer’s shortages of canning supplies are morphing into winter’s coveted patio heaters.

Ask Mark Settergren, the owner of three Twin Cities hardware stores, who took delivery of eight tabletop patio heaters on Saturday.

“I sold my last one today. I just got done putting it together and I’ve already had five phone calls seeing if we have patio heaters,” Settergren said from his Linden Hills store on Monday.

Minnesotans anticipating a COVID winter are snatching up items to keep them outdoors and active.

“Everybody’s doing their garages even,” Settergren said. “Fixing up the inside of their garage to be still outside somewhat.”

Settergren says firewood has also been a big seller. Anticipating hot sales of sleds and toboggans, Settergren has ordered extra.

Victoria Molko, a licensed professional counselor, said those seeking winter fun have the right idea.

She suggests that people stressing about colder weather during COVID-19 make a list of things they love about winter.

Anticipation, Molko said, brings happiness.

“So, look forward to bundling up and going snowshoeing if you love doing that or staying inside and drinking your favorite tea, reading your favorite book.”

Bob Christensen left Suttergren’s Linden Hills Monday with the last patio heater. 

He considered himself lucky to have found it.

“We’re obviously all home more and can extend the time outside during the cooler months, until it really freezes over,” Christensen said.