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Old Town Businesses Bemoan Losses From Snowquester

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Shop owners in Old Town, Alexandria saw anything but business-as-usual during the predicted snowstorm on Wednesday. Store owners say the weather that never was had a clear negative effect on business.

The fierce winter weather predicted for yesterday turned out to be much ado about nothing for much of Northern Virginia, saving the truly impressive snow accumulation for the higher elevations west of the I-95 corridor. In D.C. and its suburbs, it was relegated to a slushy mix and, eventually, just rain.

Chris Hall is manager at the Butcher's Block Sandwich Shop in Old Town. He says the empty streets dampened sales for some.

"Lunch crowd was less than our normal lunch crowd, but we had a lot of local people who had to come to work today despite the weather," Hall says. "And that sort of saved us."

Others were not so lucky.

"Everything is closed," says DFL Studio and Salon owner Zianni Coats, with a laugh. "No one is making money. No one."

Coats blames the media for over-hyping the weather, which he says scared away customers.

"I just couldn't believe it. There was no one on the roads anywhere," Coats says. "No people, no nothing. Walking, I'm saying 'for what?'"

It will be back to work for those in D.C.  and Northern Virginia, but business owners in Old Town say they'll have to eat the loss from the storm that — for them —never happened.

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