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Duluth Athletic Facilities Thriving During Below Zero Cold Snap

Updated: 01/27/2014 10:15 PM
Created: 01/27/2014 8:28 PM WDIO.com
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

The finger-freezing, nose-numbing temperatures have many across the Northland avoiding the outdoors at all costs. And it's proving to be good for some businesses.

The playgrounds are deserted, and most classrooms are empty. So where have all the kids gone?

"Our tennis courts are filled all day it seems," Jake Tideman, the fitness director at the Arrowhead Tennis and Athletic Club, told Eyewitness News Monday.

The below zero temperatures outside are driving them in. "We got kids coming in early in the morning when they should be in school and at night it's the same deal," Tideman said.

Tideman told us they've even had to add to morning staffing.

"Normally we have two people but I think we're at four right now."

On the court, Instructor Wells Patten is longing for the days of summer when he can teach outside. But, he said "with a day like today, 20 below, what are you gonna do?"

You could play tennis, but hitting the gym seems to be just as popular.

"We're seeing throngs of people," Angel Hohenstein, with Duluth's YMCA, said. "Obviously they're not going to get frostbite in here."

Hohenstein said they have about 500 new members so far in January.

"Weve seen similar in the past but this year specifically we've seen a little more of an up tick," Hohenstein said. "That puts a little extra strain on the building but we're happy to have people here."

If you're starting to get restless cooped up at home, remember they've still got plenty of room for you.

Tideman said "when you're stuck at home on the couch and it's cold out, why not do something?"

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