COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Ace Hardware stores in Colorado Springs still have plenty of winter supplies on their shelves despite the current cold snap and recent snowfall.
The weather has generated a strong demand for bags of ice melt, shovels, ice scrapers and portable heaters. Ice melt in particular is hard to obtain in areas of the Midwest and East Coast hit hard by winter storms.
But Darek Barnes, owner of the four Ace stores in Colorado Springs, said Ace has a warehouse in town that allows it to re-supply faster that bigger competitors who must re-supply from greater distances.
"The demand for ice melt in particular is crazy high," he said. "We're lucky to be able to get our hands on some. We're selling hundreds of bags per day, and hundreds of shovels per day."
On Wednesday at the Ace store neat Circle Drive and Galley Road, sales of winter supplies were steady. One couple came to buy a leaf blower for snow removal instead of a snowblower.
"The snow blower tends to scratch the driveway and create grooves," said Joe Levinsky, who was at the store with his wife. "And cords get tangled. The leaf blower is gas-powered and no worries about cords."
Hank Clark, another customer, prefers a more traditional tool for snow removal.
"I'm here to get a replacement for my worn-out shovel," he said. "The ergonomic kind. It's easy on the back. I'm not used to this snow. Usually I'm in Tucson, but not this year."
Customer Jeff Schroeder said the recent cold snap pales in comparison to past storms he's experienced.
"We could count on two to three blizzards a year," he said. "I remember tunneling in them as a kid. That's been a few years, though."