Ice cream trucks driving out of neighborhoods as fewer kids play outside

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Hearing the unmistakable music on a hot summer day brings a sense of nostalgia for many of us, but it’s an experience some kids today are growing up without.

Ice cream trucks are phasing out of neighborhoods because kids aren’t playing in them.

In fact, Skippy’s Ice Cream in Liverpool drove its trucks out of neighborhoods for the last time last summer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any trucks left in its fleet.

“I didn’t pull the plug,” said Gina Husted, owner and event coordinator of Skippy’s. “After three years of consideration, and it was a very hard decision, we’re just getting away from that division.”

Saying goodbye to circling neighborhoods, but still serving up milkshakes and cones. Skippy’s is just doing it in other ways, like weddings, block parties, and festivals.

“The kids just aren’t outside, there’s day camps that they go to, there’s sports camps they do, there’s a lot of people on vacation,” said Husted. “Maybe it’s the timing of it all, you just can’t be everywhere all at once.”

Gina and her husband tell NewsChannel 9 the profit over the last three years just hasn’t been there. Fewer kids are playing outside but the permit fees owed to towns and villages keep coming.

“Yesterday I was in a neighborhood for a birthday party but again there were no kids outside,” said Husted.

So Skippy’s is adjusting as the industry evolves.

“We went from having 12 [trucks] 13 years ago and then we came down to five,” said Husted.

Closing down a few of its trucks, yes, but adding something new. “Our new loaded potato toppings bar,” said Husted.

They’re still bringing along your favorite creamy treats, but now they’re spicing up birthday parties and Nationals with some new flavor.

“We have pulled pork, mac and cheese baked potato,” said Husted.

Skippy’s Ice Cream has a contest right now. They’re looking for you to come up with their newest baked potato flavor to bring to Nationals. The winner will also get a $200 gift card to Destiny USA.

To learn more about the contest you can give Gina a call or visit their website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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