Updated: 12/11/2013 10:14 PM
Created: 12/11/2013 9:42 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Bentleyville was closed again Wednesday night due to the severe temperatures. This is the third time this season the "Tour of Lights" has closed because of the weather.
But along with Bentleyville, this weather is setting many businesses back.
From a three-day snowstorm to frigid temperatures, it's the kind of weather that keeps Northlanders inside and brings the traffic to area businesses to a near stop.
"I think we've really noticed, especially last week, many of them were hit by the heavy weather," said Kristi Stokes with the Greater Downtown Council.
That weather forced Bentleyville Director, Nathan Bentley, to turn off the lights three times this season.
"We don't want to encourage the public to come out and we don't want our volunteers and our staff to be out there," explained Bentley.
Bentley said in all the years they've had the "Tour of Lights" at Bayfront Festival Park, they've canceled a few times, but never three times this early in the season.
Taking a big hit are donations.
"It makes it very difficult to pay the bills that we've accumulated to put the event on," said Bentley.
Bentleyville is free, but they count on donations to keep the lights on. They also take toy and food donations for families in need. But this string of bad weather has kept the visitors and their gifts away.
"For the past couple years, we had beautiful weather...we had record attendance...but this is turning out to be quite the challenge," Bentley said.
Low attendance at Bentleyville means Canal Park businesses, like Old Chicago, aren't getting that extra traffic.
"The weather has presented a new challenge and with Bentleyville being closed, that limits some of the activity to come down to Canal Park," said manager Tony Salls.
But Christmas is still two weeks away, so Bentley has hopes the crowds will return.
"Maybe we will get 70 degree weather here and change the whole thing around!" he said.
Robotics Team Rebuilds Message on Alcohol Prevention
The fierce FIRST Robotics competition kicked off at the DECC on Friday. Teams learn all kinds of science and technical skills building the bots, but this year one team is pushing drug and alcohol prevention too.
Hermantown Returns to the State A Championship
The Hawks defeated New Prague 4-2 in the State A Semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center.
Air Pollution Health Alert for Much of Northland
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air pollution health alert for much of the Northland, including Duluth, the Iron Range, and east-central Minnesota. Conditions are expected to improve by evening.
Fewer Minnesotans 'Underwater' on Mortgages
The number of Minnesota home owners who owe more on their mortgages than their house is worth has declined.
Fond du Lac Band to Spear Walleyes
The Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa says it plans to exercise its treaty rights for the first time to spear walleyes on northeastern Minnesota lakes this spring.