If you had $20,000 to spare, what would you spend it on? A car? Your child's education? Investments? Donations to charities? Maaaybe, but you might also use it to pay to have your yard filled up with fake snow. Yes, that is a real thing! They've been doing it at ski hills for ages, but you can also have a snow machine come to your very own home—and apparently business is booming, especially in the South. David Bryant, the president of a Florida company called The Ice Man, has been in the fake snow business for 27 years and says demand is higher than ever:
It's just absolutely exploded this year. We don't know why. ... We booked about 140 tons of snow in December 2010 and we've booked over 230 tons of snow this year in December.
Maybe because our society is going down the tubes, and the road to hell is paved with fake snow (and Kardashians and a few other things)? Just a guess, but I digress. The privilege of having your yard covered in white powder can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $20,000, depending on how much snow you require. If you're paying that much, you can expect a real winter wonderland filled with light, fluffy snow, right? Actually, not quite, according to Bryant,
It's not the white powdery stuff but for the kids down here, it's the closest thing they'll see to snow. It's flaked ice. It's not chunks of ice. It's real, fine ground up ice.
That doesn't sound that dreamy, though Bryant's specialty, a 70-foot snow slide that you can toboggan down, does sound pretty cool. Still, he says an icy yard is enough to satisfy the snow-starved citizens of Florida. And one of his customers, Mark Pierce agrees. Every year he throws a "Christmas Eve Eve Snow Blow" in his yard, and more than 200 guests show up to play in the show. The kids, he says, love it:
They're just excited. They don't know what to do. It's like watching a baby zebra learn to walk and they just don't know what to do. They'll just have the operator blow it in the air for the kids to dance around in, just giving them a winter experience they're not used to having.
Ahh, yes, we all know what it's like to watch a baby zebra learn to walk...? Anyway, it is nice that these kids get to have a novel experience. Still, it seems a bit extreme to spend so much money to have snow in your very own yard when you've purposefully chosen to live in a place without wintery weather—especially in these tough economic times. Besides, if you have that kind of money to shred into shaved ice, you know what else you could spend it on? A vacation to a place that is already filled with snow, like a ski resort in the Rockies! That way your children could see what snow looks like in its natural habitat, instead of having it blasted at them from a big truck.
Image via Martin Novak/Shutterstock.