Seasonal businesses embracing early start to summer weather

CALGARY — The owner of The Paddle Station says he could see between 700 to 900 people hit the water this week with temperatures expected to hit 30 degrees Wednesday and Thursday. The last time the daytime high reached 30 was August 2020.

“We know that Calgarians are waiting for the warm weather,” said Ravi Thaker.

The rafting company launched its fifth season during a rainy May long weekend. Thaker said typically they have between 20 and 30,000 customers annually. This year early projections are for 30 to 50,000 rafters.

“I think with COVID happening that situation has changed people’s social gathering plans.”

Thaker said more people are opting for outdoor activities during the pandemic.

“We feel you can have groups of five or six people in a raft and you can still get another family in another raft and still be distant but still partake in the same activity together,” said Thaker.

This weekend, Thaker said they are introducing an app to communicate with rafters on the water with updated weather warnings.

“What’s amazing about it is that it’s geo-positioned so wherever you are on the water you’ll have a different alert if that’s the case so it will keep people safer.”

RESTAURANTS WATCHING THE FORECAST

Restaurants set to re-open outdoor dining Tuesday have also been keeping an eye on the forecast.

“Especially since we are opening our patio tomorrow, so it just came at the right time and we are really looking forward to plus 30 this week,” said Heather Pedhirney, operations manager at River Cafe group.

Pedhirney said River Cafe thrives during sunny, warm weather. She said the restaurant is looking forward to re-opening following an easing of restrictions.

“People enjoy the park in the summer in the gorgeous weather and our patio is 50 per cent of our capacity.”

River Cafe is celebrating 30 years in business. This year it amped up its picnic menu, offering a twist on takeout options with more items to order from.

“People can order online, they can choose what they’d like including picnic essentials, picnic baskets, blankets and either enjoy it in the picnic garden or out in the park.”

Under stage one of the province’s re-launch plan outdoor patios are permitted as of June 1. A maximum of four people are permitted per table. Everyone must be from the same household unless you live alone then you are able to dine with two close contacts.

Stage two of the re-launch plan, anticipated to begin mid-June would allow six people to dine indoors or outside with no restrictions on who is dining together.

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