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Sunny, warm October brings good business, challenges to local shops

Last Updated Oct 24, 2018 at 8:27 am PDT

(Tim James, NEWS 1130 Photo)

The warm and sunny weather this October is good news for outdoor recreation businesses in Vancouver

While sun and warmth is good news for outdoor recreation businesses, some report seeing challenges this late in the year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Enjoy the autumn sunshine while you can — a rainy forecast is shaking things up for Vancouver’s outdoor patrons.

The city has seen a sunny stretch for the past two weeks and favorable temperatures for October.

Over the fall, Vancouver has transformed into a sea of bright oranges, reds and yellows, leading to a surprising new form of photo tourism. One example is a two block grove of vibrant maple trees in East Vancouver that sees dozens of enthusiastic cellphone wielding shooters.

Outdoor recreation businesses are looking bright too.

The General Manager of Mayfair Lakes golf course, Mike Smetdstad, says the past two weeks of unusually warm weather has made for good golfer turnout and good business for the industry.

“I would not be very surprised if everyone was up by quite a bit. We’re up above normal by about 25 to 30 per cent.”

Stanley Park bike shops are spinning their spokes, with eager cyclists taking advantage of the sun.

Sarah Vetter with Spokes Bike Rentals by Stanley Park says they’ve been 40 per cent busier compared to previous years during this time.

But it’s not all autumn joy.

“We’ve kept staff on a little longer,” says Vetter. “Unfortunately because there’s no lights on the Sea Wall we do tend to close at sunset just for the security of everyone. ”

As for golfing, Smetdstad says an overloaded green has had its own set of challenges.

“A lot of our seasonal help, as you can imagine, have gone back to school,” he says. “We’re running it pretty thin.”

With the addition of a warmer month, course maintenance has needed longer hours.

“Because of the amount of sunshine and heat we’ve had this October, the growth is unlike any other October,” Smetdstad says.

As for fall capturing camera fanatics, their show may come to an end. The City of Vancouver is asking residents to bag leaves for pickup this weekend, before coming rains turn the spectacularly colorful piles into a slippery brown mush.

“The leaves can block up some of the storm drains and cause flooding,” says Albert Shamess, Director of Waste Management and Resource Recovery. “So we ask people not to rake their leaves into the curb, but to rather put them in bags or green bins.”

As far as the weather goes, all good things come to an end — or in this case, more complicated things. Blue skies are forecast to be replaced with on and off showers for the next few weeks.