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Local businesses keep bright outlook during rainy days

Danielle Bernstein has lost cameras, time and occasionally money because of rain, but the founder of Atlanta-based Clear Films said she mostly rolls with it when rain interferes with a production schedule. 

“You build it in or wait it out,” she said. Though they are currently filming in Utah where the weather is just fine, Bernstein said an extended rain forecast like the one for metro Atlanta this week means large-scale productions can lose a lot of money.

“It usually makes things expensive because there are only so many days that you can delay a crew that is booked or push them into another period of time,” she said. 

Rain early Wednesday caused traffic delays and developed into a flash flood warning for three counties.

There is a chance of showers every day this week in metro Atlanta, according to Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton. 

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» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

While the rain was expected to slow Wednesday evening there remained a 60- 80  percent chance of rain from Thursday through Monday according to extended forecasts.

Bernstein said most productions have a weather contingency built into the budget for moments like this. Sometimes, they can simply shift filming indoors to avoid losing crew time and money. When they are really lucky, they can use the rain to their advantage. Once when it began raining during a commercial shoot for the U.S. Marine Corps Bernstein said they just had the Marines crawl in the mud to add to the production value. 

But for some businesses accommodating rainy weather is more challenging, if not impossible.

Amy Pazahanick, owner of Agape Tennis Academy based at DeKalb Tennis Center, tries to remain optimistic even though canceled classes mean a 100 percent loss of revenue. 

“They have to be on the court for money to come in,” said Pazahanick who chooses not believe the forecasts predicting up to six days of continuous rain showers. “In our industry you are always prepared for weather events,” she said noting that they make weather related decisions about two hours before scheduled classes.  

Instead of teaching on the court they use the downtime for scheduling, planning new programs like Pickleball (a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis), marketing, social media, sponsorships and community outreach. “I think about what we can do for our business that will reap long-term benefits rather than just, I can teach tennis today,” she said. 

Employees at the Roof at Ponce City Market which includes Skyline Park, RFD, Nine Mile Station and Roof Top Terrace, are fanatical weather watchers, said Wendy Smith, director of marketing.

“The weather is what we live by up here,” she said. Though wind is usually more perilous than rain, a shower can have a big impact on business.

Space at Nine Mile Station, the rooftop restaurant, is cut in half when it rains forcing them to limit the number of reservations they can take, she said.

The Roof usually opens at 3 p.m. but if it is raining hard, they may delay opening time or close entirely. If they are open, guests can escape the rain by staying in the enclosed lobby area where they have additional games and a bar.

Other local attractions such as Zoo Atlanta and the Atlanta Botanical Garden have an easier go in the rain. Both are open rain or shine and guests understand the limitations that may come with a visit during wet weather.

Garden visitors can stay dry by viewing plants in the Conservatory or the Orchid Center. At the Zoo, guests who visit during rainy weather may find some animals such as the gorillas in the indoor areas, while sloths, for example, love the rain and may chose to remain outside. 

Excessive rain isn’t the best thing for any business that involves the outdoors but for Bernstein, it isn’t the worst weather event. That title is currently reserved for the tornado that came bearing down on them when they were filming the documentary, “IMBA Means Sing” in Kansas.

Rain by comparison is pretty tame, sometimes even beautiful. “That look when the sun comes out and there are storm clouds behind it, that is the best light on earth,” she said.
  

About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.

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