Cold freezes some local sales

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Like most Amarillo restaurants, Texas Roadhouse's business is down about 40 percent from normal this week. But this particular eating place decided to close early because they say past two days have been the biggest impact weather has ever had on their cash registers.

"With it being the negative wind chills for almost 60 hours, it's just so intense, that people just don't want to get outside," manager Joe Palereo said.

Restaurants are just part of a widespread impact this cold weather is having on local businesses. Retail stores are suffering just as much. Workers at the mall say they've only done about 20 percent of their average business.  And owners of stand alone shops say they're worse off than the mall.

Even being in the middle of tax season, Accountants are going to extreme lengths to get customers because of the cold. One poor guy spent most of his night dancing on the sidewalk with a sign saying "easy refund checks."

"It puts money in your pocket you know," Erik Benroth said.

Then there are the logistical impacts of the weather. A power outage in downtown Amarillo paralyzed businesses there for about 30 minutes. Amarillo National Bank for example had to put up cones closing their drive through bank teller lanes.

But a few businesses benefited from the cold. Take shinny nails for example.

"The weather has actually made my customers be bored at home and want to come out and get their hair done," hairstylist Vanessa Estrada said.

Plumbers also say they were swamped with calls about frozen or busted piped. They were so busy, no one could make time for an interview.

But the biggest twist was back at Texas roadhouse. Those power outages in a different part of town:

"My power at my house went out, so there was no way to stay warm other than get out of the house," Teresa Minjrez said.

Actually ended up sending them a few customers.