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Businesses Suffer After Many School Districts Cancel Mid-Winter Break Due To Sandy

Bowling Alley Worker: 'It's A Big Hit For The Bottom Line'
Visitors at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center (credit: CBS 2)

Visitors at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The economic impact of Superstorm Sandy continues to have a ripple effect across the region.

On Long Island, businesses that cater to children said the cancellation of this week’s mid-winter school break is hurting their bottom line.

This was supposed to be a week off for public school students, but 50 of Long Island’s 124 school districts are in session for either part or all of this week because of the days of missed classes following Sandy, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday.

Canceling a school vacation doesn’t win points with kids.

“I feel sad because I love vacation, vacations are fun,” one student told Gusoff.

But the shortened or eliminated break is also unpopular with businesses geared toward kids and families.

“We typically make about $100,000 during President’s Week so we will definitely take a big hit,” said Teresa McCarthy of Maple Family Centers.

Maple Family Centers bowling alleys count on mid-winter recess like retailers bank on Black Friday to boost profits for the year.

“It’s a big hit for the bottom line. We still have utilities and mortgage and payroll,” McCarthy added.

Museums are also big losers. For Cradle Of Aviation Museum in Garden City, this would be the biggest week of the year, Gusoff reported

“We’d probably have double the attendance we normally would so, again, you try to get creative,” said the museum’s executive director, Andrew Parton.

Instead, the museum has offered discounts to school groups to try to recoup some lost revenue.

The Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center is giving away smoke detectors, but museum officials said they can’t make up the thousands of dollars lost.

“Today, very slow. We’re losing 75 percent of our attendance this week,” the museum’s Angelo Catalano told Gusoff.

The Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center, which usually closes at 3 p.m., is staying open two hours later each day this week to try to attract families after school.

Meanwhile, parents are already thinking ahead to spring break, which isn’t a sure thing either.

“If any snow happens between now and spring break, we lose more days,” Jennifer Travagila of Sayville told Gusoff.

Many businesses rely on revenues from mid-winter break when families are typically looking for indoor activities for their kids, not spring break when some families travel, Gusoff reported.

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