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Vancouver's cool, wet spring slows business

Lyndsay Morrison, staff witer

June 1, 2011 — It's been a cool and wet spring in the city of Vancouver, and that's having a negative impact on businesses that rely on sunny weather.

Business has been slow this spring at Granville Island Boat Rentals
Business has been slow this spring at Granville Island Boat Rentals

In the winter months, it's a city that has the rest of Canada envious of its' mild temperatures. However, this spring hasn't given Vancouverites much to brag about.

On average, temperatures on the south coast of BC have been three and a half degrees colder than normal. Vancouver has also had 120 per cent above-average rainfall for the past two months. That, in turn, is having an impact on businesses throughout the city.

“Our business has been crushed,” says Steve Serbic, owner of Granville Island Boat Rentals. “We have not opened. We normally open May the first.”

Serbic isn't expecting his business to open until mid-June, which would make it the latest opening in the company's history.

Other businesses are taking a hit, as well. Southlands Nursery has seen sales drop by up to 50 per cent over the last year.

Above-normal amounts of rain have soaked Vancouver this spring
Above-normal amounts of rain have soaked Vancouver this spring

“It's been very quiet, very slow. People have been unable to go out and garden,” says Thomas Hobbs, the nursery owner. “This year we had one sunny weekend in our selling season, and last year we had eight in a row.”

At Spokes Bicycle Rentals, manager Erik Helin has been offering rain ponchos with every rental.

“It's definitely quite a bit slower,” he tells The Weather Network. “When it's sunny, we rent out the majority of our bikes.”

For more details on what's expected in Vancouver this week, be sure to check your local forecast. A preview of the months to come can be found in The Weather Network's Summer Outlook 2011.

With files from Michelle Simick

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