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Heat Brings Business Indoors At Washingtonian Center

The extreme summer heat wave keeps consumers indoors at Gaithersburg shopping center.

were apparent at Gaithersburg's  Wednesday afternoon as those who dared leave their homes to brave near-100 degree temperatures still took refuge indoors.

Featuring shops, restaurants, a movie theatre and lake, Washingtonian Center is typically bustling outside with people, but Amanda Khoury of Washingtonian Paddleboat likened the center to a ghost town.

"Normally there's a lot of people on the boardwalk, but it's dead here," Khoury said.

One of only a few people who work outdoors, Khoury said she was trying to stay cool with a fan, umbrella and cold water. The Rockville resident even bought a water gun from the nearby Target to spray cold water and fool around with a co-worker, she said.

Liz Helmerson, a former Darnestown resident who was visiting friends after moving to Melbourne, Australia, three years ago, said she's been eating lunch indoors and spending time in the pool to keep cool.

"It's hot [in Australia] but you don't have the humidity that you have here, so that make's it harder to tolerate," Helmerson said before joining a friend for lunch at Café Deluxe. 

A short walk away from the restaurant, an theatre official said people are coming increasingly, day-by-day during the heat wave. Other Washingtonian Center businesses have seen an increase, too.

Angela Park, an employee at 16 Handles yogurt shop, said she had a feeling Wednesday was going to be very busy, especially towards dinner time.

"We've been doing a lot better this summer than last summer," said Park, a Gaithersburg resident. "If it's too hot, not a lot of people come out [during the week], but weekends are insane."

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