PORTLAND, Ore. — While many people did see snow this weekend, thousands across the metro area got nothing.
And after waiting in long lines for groceries and gas, KGW heard from many people upset they prepared for a snowstorm for nothing. Businesses that lost money from cancellations are at the top of the list.
"That's what [news stations] do if that's what's predicted," said chef Gabriel Rucker, owner of Le Pigeon, Little Bird Bistro and Canard. "It's not like you're making it up. Your job is to tell the news but also have people watch it. If you think it's going to be a crazy snowstorm, you're going to juice it up. We're Portlanders. We all know that."
At Little Bird in downtown Portland, Rucker said about 90 reservations on Saturday were canceled by people too worried to go out in the bad weather. It's a lot of money to lose.
But Rucker says being downtown with so many people on foot, especially with no snow that ended up falling, they got a lot of walk-in diners that helped their bottom line. He definitely heard from chef friends though who were really upset with the hype.
"I totally understand being upset. I've just given up trying to find an excuse for why people are or are not coming in," Rucker said. "I've been doing it for 12 years. I know what's in store when all of the news predicts it's going to snow. That's just going to happen every year."
Provenance Hotels manages six of downtown Portland's high-end hotels, including The Heathman, Hotel Lucia, The Dossier, Hotel Deluxe and The Sentinel. Across the board they saw cancellations from people afraid of what was to come, and from a lot of people from the Seattle area who actually did get walloped with snow and couldn't get to Portland.
"I mean listen, we all make predictions in our jobs to some degree," laughed Kate Buska with Provenance Hotels. "I do not envy, nor want to be, in [meteorologists'] position to go on TV and make those predictions. I know they're doing the very best they can. I'm grateful. I would rather have them be wrong and everyone be safe then to have this storm sneak up on us and people get stuck on the roads."
Flights were canceled at the airport, so business trips were postponed. Conferences and business meetings at the hotels and event centers were canceled.
Perhaps most notably, former First Lady Michelle Obama postponed her Saturday talk at the Moda Center because of the threat of severe weather. That's thousands of people that were going to stay at hotels, and go out to dinner.
Others posted sarcastically from neighborhoods that got no snow.
Reggie in Hillsboro posted about the dry pavement near Orenco Station, writing, "Pray for us."
Twitter user Mitch took a photo of his wife and daughter pointed to a speck of snow in a parking lot, writing, "We barely made it out to breakfast this morning."
One saving grace is Thursday is Valentine's Day. It's a critical moneymaker for restaurants and hotels. Because it hits on a Thursday and there is no snow forecast anymore for later in the week, it can help them get back on track and still be busy over the weekend.