Brian Scott, NBC 5 Denton County Reporter
Despite the ice storm earlier this month, Denton has seen strong sales for stores in the town square just in time for Christmas.
Many local business owners in Denton say they’re optimistic about their holiday sales despite the December ice storm.
Employees at Sleeping Lizzards gifts spent Christmas Eve helping what they say was a surprisingly large last-minute shopping crowd.
"There were people here when I pulled up waiting, so yeah, we're hopeful,” said co-owner Roxane Clark.
Clark and her business partner Beth Klein said numbers have increased significantly in the weeks leading up to Christmas giving them a much hoped for boost.
"I think yesterday was our biggest day of the year which is surprising because usually it's the Saturday before Christmas so everybody piled in here yesterday for sure,” said Klein.
The store and many others throughout the Metroplex needed a pile of customers after the massive ice storm that hit the area on Dec. 5 and 6.
"We closed 3 and a half days,” said Klein.
Even when her store and others in Downtown Denton reopened much of the rest of the city remained shut down including the schools. Along with the ice on the sidewalks store there were very few shoppers for the better part of a week, business owners said.
"We look forward to every day in December to make our year,” said Clark.
To make things worse the storm forced the city to reschedule their annual “Wassail Fest” and tree lighting which is historically the downtown’s biggest weekend of the year.
Leading up to the replacement fest a week later store owners said they were very concerned the crowd would take a serious hit and in turn, so would their overall holiday sales.
However, shop owners said it turned out better than they expected.
"The sales were through the roof. People came out even when there was still ice on the sidewalks and everything. We were very surprised,” said Courtney Johnson, owner of “the Barn.”
Also helping their bottom lines were extended hours, sales, and additional downtown events stores collaborated on to help recover some of those lost sales.
While most said it’s very unlikely they’ll recover all of the sales from that missing week they were hopeful the holiday season will end up much better than it could have been.