DES MOINES, Iowa– Despite the temperature dropping, local restaurants want to extend patio season as long as they can. The nonprofit, Greater Des Moines Partnership, has stepped in to help.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership has a new program, ‘Extend The Season’, that provides restaurants with free patio heaters to be able to keep their outdoor seating available.
“It’s actually just free and they are for the members to keep. We don’t necessarily want them back,” Vice President of Business Resources for the Des Moines Partnership, Meg Schneider, said. “This is an asset and an addition to their property and to their service model and delivery.”
Greater Des Moines Partnership was able to obtain a few hundred patio heaters for local small businesses. However, Schneider said it wasn’t easy.
According to Schneider, the demand for patio heaters is extremely high right now. This caused the non-profit to turn to local hardware stores and even companies in China to get their hands on these machines.
Schneider said Greater Des Moines Partnership has spent $50,000 to $75,000 on these patio heaters.
The East Village restaurant, HoQ, said patio season has been their saving grace since Iowa establishments can’t operate at full capacity indoors. Though their patio only consists of five tables, a manager at the farm to fork restaurant said these seats are still essential for business.
“It’s really important just to have it because we want people to feel comfortable and to have that option is definitely a game-changer for us,” Manager at HoQ, Sarah Sontag said.