Winter in Worthington, I’ve come to learn, means cold weather and snow for roughly five to six months out of the year.
You might say “Embrace the winter weather, Karl. Try out cross country skiing. Make a snowman. Go ice skating. Go ice … fishing!”
No thanks! I’d much rather fish the way it was originally intended. In sunny, 70-degree, windless weather. On a boat. In water. With cold beverages in the cooler. With Brad Paisley’s “Catch All The Fish” (truly inspiring lyrics) playing.
Well, you can’t always get what you want. I want Worthington to have mountains so I can go hiking, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t think we have that technology yet.
I’m always hearing Worthington needs more things to do. I’m seeing it, too. During the cold weather months, the city is barren on the weekends.
It’s why when we talk about getting more things to do, I personally think the focus needs to be on things to do … indoors.
Maybe I’m only saying this because it’s cold right now. But there’s some logic to it, too.
When it’s warm out, you have options. Just laying outside on a beach towel qualifies as doing something. You might actually go for a run or hop on a bike for your own enjoyment, not because your exercise routine is commanding you to do so.
Warmth brings people together. Just look at Worthington during the summer — people actually stay in town on a Saturday. A simple cookout, picnic or garage sale is all it takes.
But when it’s cold, we need places to go, because I’m not driving through a blizzard if I don’t have to.
So, here’s some indoor things I want:
Sky Zone / Bouncy place: Check out the Sky Zone in Sioux Falls if you haven’t. All I really like about it is bouncing off of a trampoline and dunking … over and over again, until I run out of cool dunk ideas.
Go-karts: Go-karting is the most fun thing a person can do. Indoor go-karting means you can do the most fun thing year-round! It only becomes not-fun when you get a slow kart. Slow karts are the worst.
Escape Room: This is fun for all ages. For some parents, for for all ages translates to “fun for my kids and that’s about it,” but escape rooms are particularly fun for adults. Especially in large groups.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Really just any place that specializes in wings. I love wings.
Movie Theater and Bowling Alley: Of course! I don’t need to tell you why we need these.
Many of these ideas might seem childish, but every generation of young adults is different.
There are several bars in Brooklyn that are filled with board games. When I was younger, I never imagined I’d see adults drinking while playing shuffleboard on a Friday night, but there it was. And it was super fun, by the way. What a combination.
It’s why I hope investors think outside the box — because uniqueness adds a pull that doesn’t require much extra investment or promotion.
But more importantly, think about Worthington’s climate and geography when looking to open a new business. It’s not a weakness. It’s an opportunity.