Area seasonal business talks about winter revenues - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Area seasonal business talks about winter revenues

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For companies who live for the summer months, winter can be daunting to business.

But that's not the case for all seasonal businesses. Chicagoland Skydiving in Rochelle has a plan that keeps them from freefalling.

"Skydiving is not a lot of fun in the wintertime," said Mike Wood. Mike is the Chief Operations Officer at CSC.

Imagine jumping out of a plane into below zero wind chills, falling to the ground at high speeds and landing on the frozen ground of mid-January winter in Northern Illinois.

Not so appealing is it?

That's why you won't be jumping in Rochelle this winter. But Chicagoland Skydiving doesn't hibernate. After all, bills don't freeze with the temperatures.

"It's still a lot of money going out the door and in the summertime we can make that happen, it's not a problem. It's in the wintertime when things get a little thin," said Doug Smith, the company's owner.

Mortgage, lease and utilities alone cost CSC $20,000 a month. That's not including employee wages. Bringing in between $600,000 and 700,000 a month in the summer makes bill paying manageable. That's why, in the winter, CSC had to get creative.

"We're in the business of saying yes so we said yes, and converted this space into whatever was needed," said Smith.

"Utilize our hangar facilities for different things: A ducks unlimited event, catering and banquets, we do concerts, we do a lot of different sporting events," said Mike Wood.

And company planes migrate south for the winter. Skydivers in Florida, Georgia and Texas welcome CSC planes with open arms. CSC employees benefit as well, giving them year-round jobs, rather than seasonal.

"For most of us that are used to working all summer and doing nothing all winter, it's a welcome change because nobody on my team likes to sit around and be bored," said Smith.

CSC also benefits from the Flight Deck restaurant, open year round. It's celebrating a one-year business anniversary soon.

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