Despite cold temps, plenty of heat to be found in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Despite cold temps, plenty of heat to be found in Eau Claire

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - We're all thinking warm thoughts right now in the midst of this cold snap.

Believe it or not, we found some places where it's tough to beat the heat in Eau Claire.

Classes are back in session at UW-Eau Claire. That means it's time to crank up the heat.

"We heat the whole university complex, there are around 30 buildings. And we heat CVTC and the state office building," said David Stokes, Senior Power Plant Operator for UWEC.

The three coal-fired boilers that power the plant get pretty warm.

"They get over 1,000 degrees," Stokes said.

That keeps things nice and toasty for the workers.

"You get older, and your bones get creaky...you come in here, its a nice warm plant. That's what it all about."

Another option for keeping warm is simply snuggling up at a spa.

"You'll be able to cuddle up into a nice warm robe, relax in our Chase lounges with some blankets and a hot cup of tea," said Rebecca Leuthe, a massage therapist for Lotus Spa.

She says the steam room is a popular option.

"You can come as early as you want to come in and enjoy the steam room before your appointment. So people really love it!" Leuthe said.

What about businesses known for keeping you warm at home? Take fireside hearth and home for example.

"We have an advantage in the store of being around all these nice burning fireplaces and staying nice and comfortable. In fact, in my office I've got an electric fireplace burning in there just to keep the office warm for me," said Randy Nickerson, Owner of Fireside Hearth and Home.

The one drawback is you'll still need to head outdoors in the cold to enjoy this kind of heat.

"I'll come into the store here and just go stand in front of a fireplace for a few minutes just to get warm from walking in the door," Nickerson said.

So what's the cost of keeping all of those UWEC students warm in the winter? The typical January heating bill for the university's physical plant comes in at around $300,000.

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