Dirt Bikes on Ice

Kenny Tolbert from Decatur, Texas, right, leads Shane Vance from Peoria around the track Saturday while turning laps on the ice between South Concord Street and Credit Island in Davenport. (John Schultz / Quad-City Times)

John Schultz

The New Year is expected to come ringing in cloudy and as cold as single digits, and that’s just fine with the operations director of a new outdoor ice rink in Moline.

Larry Rosmilso said business at Center Ice at Bass Street Landing has seen a steady increase since opening earlier this month. And weather hasn’t been an issue so far.

“This holiday season has been tremendous,” Rosmilso said. “We’ve seen continual growth every day. I’ve been pleasantly happy.”

After a slow first few days, business began to boom, he said.

“It’s been really unbelievably well-attended,” he said.

The chilly and sometimes snowy weather may have helped — it certainly hasn’t hindered — business, he said, adding the location on Bass Street Landing at the foot of Moline’s 17th Street, next to the new Kone Centre, is convenient.

If the weather turns really bad, Rosmilso doesn’t expect people will want to be outdoors. But really bad weather isn’t on the horizon.

The high temperatures Sunday and Monday are expected to be in the upper 20s, dipping to the single digits at night, especially New Year’s Eve, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike McClure.

About the only concern McClure has for the next couple of days is a snow storm that is expected to hit south of the Quad-Cities on Monday. Some models do have the storm affecting parts of the Quad-City area, but McClure said that only light snow is expected.

“Most of this snow will be south of the Quad-Cities,” he said, adding the storm is expected to pass through southeastern Iowa and Missouri on a path through central Illinois.

With highs remaining below the freezing mark, that means the snow already on the ground is likely to remain into 2013.

Snow and ice lingering since the first winter storm in mid-December has kept businesses like K&K True Value Hardware in Bettendorf busy in sales of ice melt and chippers.

“It’s not like there’s a shortage, but we’re almost sold out,” lawn and garden manager Larry Smith said Saturday of the few ice chippers and scrapers he had left on the shelves.

The first snow two weeks ago pushed up the demand for ice melt, but Smith said he’s got plenty of that left in stock.

While ice melt can work even in temperatures at 10 below zero, Smith said it works best when the sun’s out.

Today is expected to be partly to mostly sunny, McClure said.

It’ll be the last hint of sunshine in a mostly bleak end to the year, weather-wise. The first few days of the New Year will stay chilly in the single digits and gray skies above.