Another season winds to a close

Every year is different and yet they are so much the same. April arrives and each week is down 25% from the one before it until the ski mountain closes and our weekly sales are 1/3 of what they were just a month before. For 6 weeks until the Summer begins to ramp up we run reduced hours. Things get very comfortable for a while with plenty of time off. We clean ovens, tear down the walk-in, remove, clean and replace ceiling tiles and florescent light covers, get the delivery cars detailed and decide whether to keep each one another year. This is when I find out who has been planning to leave but not saying anything until the season ends wrongly assuming that I would do anything differently as a result.

We are winding down the 15th winter I have owned this business. In so many ways it is much easier. You really do reach a point where you have seen nearly everything and know what to do about it. I am even over the frustration that some problems I solved 8 years ago come back again… your focus wanders. Me: “How did the Calzones get so damn big again?” Employee: “That is how I was trained to make them”!!! Me: “You can’t park in front of our neighbor’s store while they are open!!” Employee: “Nobody told me that.” Geez.

There are always some employees I would be happy to see hit the road and some others I will be sorry to lose but we go from needing 18-20 to being able to get by with 6-8 in the mud season. (We need 10-12 during the Summer) Many have other summer jobs and will be back in November.

This was the best winter in 6-7 years and the best year in that time too. Nice to have things on a roll. Our youngest child, who was a toddler when we opened, is heading off to college this year. Our other business needs my attention as we add women’s products to our mix and my brokerage work is demanding more of my time too. Now, if I could find a buyer for the pizza store…