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Winter Weather Helps Boast Local Businesses

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--We've now had a total of 36 nights below zero this winter season, and from the looks of the weather outside things aren't letting up.

People are already looking to escape and its benefiting a local industry.

Many living in the Midwest and east coast are desperate to leave to warm weather destinations.

It's a need that's good business if you're a travel agent.

Cold, windy, and snowy thats the picture outside.

"A week ago I was hit by a snow plow and totaled my car so that'd be one thing that I don't like, said Pamella Kissinger who likes to get away from it all.

This winter has been so relentless that the word polar-vortex has almost become part of our everyday vocabulary.

"We need to move someplace warmer, I think, she said.

Sometimes moving is not an option, but an escape is.

"Well we went to Jamaica at the end of the January then we went to Mexico in December, Kissinger said.

Now Pam Kissinger is already planning a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Her trips come together with help from travel agent Susan Stepanek, owner of Ultimate Escapes Travel.

"With Ultimate Escapes Travel we see people traveling from about November until March. That's our Caribbean our warm weather destinations, she said.

Stepanek says most people tend to plan those trips with her six months before winter.

This season though, she's seen a ten percent increase in people looking to travel at the last minute.

"There are a lot of people who want that kind of thing that they are going to save the money and, they start feeling depressed they don't have enough vitamin C and so they want a sunshine fix, she said.

It's a feeling Pam knows well.

"I think everybody I work with. We just can't wait for the sun to shine and to have some nice weather, she said.
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