From rain-drenched patios to sidetracked soccer games, Calgarians eagerly await warmer weather

After a cold, rainy long weekend, some Calgary tourist attractions, local businesses with outdoor spaces and sports organizations are hoping for bluer skies.

"We're constantly nervously watching weather," said Jeff Hodgson, director of food services and the manager on duty at Heritage Park over the May long weekend.

According to Hodgson, attendance was down about 23 per cent over the previous five May long weekends.

"It's always a little bit dicey for the May long weekend as Calgarians know … we had a mix of everything. We didn't have the snow that was forecasted, so that was nice," he said. 

Visits to the Calgary Zoo also took a hit with the cold temperatures.

Roughly 20,000 people passed through the gates over the May long weekend, which is roughly half of last year's numbers.

Restaurants are struggling too, as rain-drenched patios around the city sit empty. The Container Bar, a patio nestled in a Kensington alleyway, is completely closed.

"We even have a cover that goes over it, lots of heaters. But if its somewhat a little chilly or like this, nobody wants to sit out there," said owner Cam Dobranski.

He estimates business is down by about 15 per cent this spring.

Playing catch-up

As for local sports teams, they're hoping for a chance to catch up on all the games cancelled due to bad weather.

"If a game doesn't get played, it doesn't relate, you know, to a team's overall ability to maybe reach the provincials or city finals or inter-cities, or something like that, but going forward everybody will work very hard, clubs and teams, to make sure that they get an opportunity to play those games," said Susan Cress with the Calgary Minor Soccer Assocation.

The association is working to reschedule about 400 pre-season games — it schedules more than 7,000 during its regular outdoor season each year.

Jennifer Lee/CBC

Kathy Worthington with the Calgary Minor Softball Association says part of their early season was sidetracked by snow.

"We'd love to extend the season, we haven't had that luxury as of yet," she said, adding that the adult teams get the diamonds once the minor league season wraps up.

Luckily for Calgarians, temperatures are forecasted to rise this week — with sunny skies.