TODAY | February 09, 2013
>>> millions of americans across the northeast are waking up this morning to sidewalks to shovel, address to clear. the cost of the blizzard will also tax city budgets. hare in -- here in new york, for every inch of snow it costs the city $1 million to clear and remove the white stuff. center businesses, though, the snow can also be a big opportunity to make a little money. michelle franzen is in central park with that part of the story. good morning.
>> reporter: well, good morning, erica. it's picturesque here in central park . when a storm like this big hits , it can wipe out the annual snow-removal budget for cities in just one shot. millions of dollars spent on sand, salt, and snowplows and removal. but there are also businesses and retailers that thrive during and after the storm . when the weather outside is frightful, some people have to be out in it. whether working the plows or traveling snow-packed roads.
>> the conditions are horrible. yeah, we've obviously had worse. it's only going to get worse from here.
>> reporter: then there are those who revel in whatever mother nature dishes out.
>> it's beautiful. i love it. it's been two years, yeah. no, it rocks.
>> reporter: love it or loathe it, there is no business like snow business . for cities and towns trying to budget for snow removal and cleanup, all this snow adds up.
>> the problem they run into is when they get a big storm and all of a sudden they spend the whole budget on that storm and there's nothing rest for the rest of the winter.
>> reporter: new york city estimates it costs $1 million per inch of snow to clear. on the plus side, all this snow can be good for business.
>> the retailers, the lowe's, the home depots of the world, they'll see more sales as people prepare for the storm .
>> reporter: and ski resorts will be able to make up for the slow start to the season. in new york city 's times square , the storm couldn't keep tourist from waiting in line for tickets to a broadway show .
>> we're from minnesota, so i guess maybe we're used to this.
>> reporter: outside rockefeller center , die hard justin bieber fans camped out for the chance to see him host "saturday night live." if i was your boyfriend never let you go
>> i just love justin, and i'd wait if it was like a tornado.
>> reporter: still the cold and snow and wait tested even the most devoted fans.
>> this was times in the first maybe five, eight hours, and now it's just miserable.
>> reporter: and there are also the costs to businesses who had to close early and mass transit and airline cancelations. the total tab for this storm won't be known for a few weeks.
>> we can probably guess that