Local malls, Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack and Bristol Mountain are among the area businesses that are closed this afternoon due to blizzard conditions.
Today’s severe winter weather warning has forced many area businesses to close their doors.
A blizzard warning issued by The National Weather Service called for heavy snowfall, strong winds and poor visibility. The weather advisory will remain in effect until 5 a.m. Thursday.
All three major shopping malls in the area, Eastview, Henrietta and Marketplace, closed all stores at noon today.
Wendy Roche, the marketing director for Eastview Mall in Victor said Wilmorite Properties, which owns the malls, makes a uniform decision for all three locations. All three malls will reopen at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
“The general manager monitors the weather conditions and what the forecast is, and if a state of emergency is issued,” Roche said. “The safety of employees is a top concern. If customers are not coming here we don’t want employees coming in.”
Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington also closed at noon today and will reopen at 8 a.m.
Even a local business that revolves around snowfall will be closing today. Bristol Mountain Ski Resort will close at 3 p.m. due to poor road conditions. The mountain will be open tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Other area businesses chose to continue operations despite the storm. All Wegmans locations will remain open today, although many are working with a limited number of employees.
“We provide an essential service and we recognize that,” Wegmans spokesperson Joe Natale said. “We provide food and drugs and people rely on us for that. The stores do not close and will not close due to weather.”
Natale said many Wegmans stores are operating with a “skeleton staff” and management puts a lot of effort into ensuring the safety of employees. For example, if an employee travels farther to work than other employees, they may not have to come in to work. Also, she said, the store can make arrangements for employees who commute longer distances to stay at a hotel near the store.
Area Wegmans stores were extremely busy yesterday as residents prepared for today’s blizzard. The stores were also busy early this morning, Natale said, but business has died off significantly as the weather continues to worsen.
“We had adjusted our orders in anticipation of being very busy yesterday and that played out as expected,” Natale said. “By the end of the day, naturally, some stores did begin to run out of some items people always stock up on before the storm. All stores replenished overnight and are fully stocked tonight."
Natale said those items that ran low yesterday were the expected essentials including bread, milk, eggs and batteries.
While many businesses remain open on Main Street Canandaigua, an employee at Mac’s Philly Steaks told Messenger Post she hasn’t seen many cars on the road.
“Main Street looks like a ghost town,” Mac's employee Lindsay Mantz said.
Business, however, remains steady at the restaurant. The bank next door, which remained open this afternoon, brings a lot of people in to the shop, Mantz said. Most of their business today, she said, was from customers who walked to the restaurant.
Ontario County Sheriff's Office has issued a travel advisory for all Ontario County roads and highways until 10 p.m. Wednesday, recommending no unnecessary travel.