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Pictured is Desert Donuts in Tramonto. Local businesses like Desert Donuts have been experiencing changes in customer activity due to the recent storms.
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Local businesses note impact of uncertain weather conditions

Alex Stevenson~ 9/24/2014

NORTH VALLEY – As Arizona’s monsoon season draws to a close, its impact – whether little or large – on local North Valley businesses is apparent.

Hurricane Norbert’s dissipated effects were certainly felt throughout the valley on Sept. 8, a day that, according to Weather.com, hosted the highest recorded rainfall ever further south at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with an astonishing 3.29 inches.

Be it an extensive storm with flash flooding or a grisly, rainy day – potential customers certainly take the weather into account before they go out and patronize local shops.

“While it wouldn’t necessarily deter me from keeping plans, I’d definitely rather stay at home with a book on wet days,” said local Anthem resident Carly Stackhouse.

Anna McGowan, a manager at Swankys Boutique off West Anthem Way, held a similar view. The storm on Sept. 8 definitely “slowed business down,” with only a few potentials stopping in. McGowan notices the same sort of pattern on other bad weather days, as most people “stay home when it’s really rainy outside.”

Chris Burris, part-owner of Desert Donuts located in Tramonto off of West Carefree Highway and U.S. Interstate 17, had mixed feelings about the rain, and its effects on his family’s business.

While the storm in early September made business feel a “bit slower,” Burris acknowledged it was not noticeably slow and that “this time of year tends to be fairly slow anyway.”

Generally Burris feels that Desert Donuts doesn’t feel too negative an impact from the rain, and that oftentimes it will promote people to stop in. “We try to monitor its effects [on daily business], but it can really be hit or miss,” Burris said of the rain’s potential impact.

“As cooler weather starts to come in, and the snowbirds with it, we expect to see more customers, but as for the rain – most people brave it.”

Braving the roads on Sept. 8 proved difficult for employees at other businesses.

Daisy Mountain Coffee Roasters manager Crystal Vahoni said she couldn’t even make the trip to work at the firm’s Seventh Street and East Carefree Highway location after a wash on her route flooded.

“A lot of our business comes from a local pharmacy, so when they don’t see as many customers [as they didn’t that day], we don’t either,” Vahoni said.

One business that more or less relies on the weather remaining clear is Desert Foothills Gardens Nursery on North Cave Creek Road.

Manager Kris Myers said that due to the majority of their stock having to remain outside, they have no option but to close whenever it rains.

Despite the clear loss at having to close, and a flooded wash that “took down” a telephone pole near the nursery, Myers said that the storm Sept. 8 did little or no damage to the plants themselves.

It may only take one or two large storms (or lack, thereof – as the North Valley saw little no rain last Tuesday while the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors urged valley residents in other areas to “prepare for heavy rain, flash floods”) to garner much media attention, but the transient slumps faced by many businesses on your average rainy day can certainly add up.