Love Gets a Snow Job

Valentine’s Day All But Forgotten

By Darcy Spencer
|  Sunday, Feb 14, 2010  |  Updated 8:09 AM EDT
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Love Gets a Snow Job

North County Times/Bill Wechter

Mica Franco puts together a bouquet of roses at Franco's Flowers in Leucadia on Thursday. Consumers are expected to spend about 5 percent less on Valentine's Day this year than they did in 2008, according to a market research firm.

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It seems that back-to-back blizzards is bad for love in D.C.

Love-themed business tell News 4 that Valentine’s Day purchases are down by as much as 90 percent in some places.

Flower shops, candy stores and restaurants are taking a huge hit.
 
“It’s pretty crappy,” said Beth Lehnert, manager of Chocolate Moose in downtown Washington. “We are doing about one-tenth of what we usually do.”

Lehnert says the business had to close Wednesday because of the blizzard. Even if the doors had been open, chances are the workers couldn’t have made it in, she said.

The district’s snow emergency has been lifted, but parking is still at a premium.

That means unless you’re getting around on metro or on foot, you’re not getting out to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for your sweetie.

“Today could be better,” Lehnert said. “But there’s no parking. We’re screwed on that one as well.”

At Beltway Blossoms flower shop in Greenbelt, it’s been an extremely slow week. Deliveries were nearly impossible on virtually impassable roads.

The shop manager is hoping to make up for lost business with last-minute buyers who don’t want their sweeties to be empty-handed on Valentine’s Day.

“We were expecting a lot more business,” said Doris Hicks, manager of the shop. “We’re hoping the next two days we’ll see more customers.”
 
Good news for procrastinators looking to make a dinner reservation: There should be spaces left. But act fast, because restaurant managers say people have been calling non-stop on Saturday.

“Our phones have been ringing all day,” said James Alefantis, owner of Buck’s Camping and Fishing in Northwest Washington. “We have a few spaces left.”
 

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