Employees stay warm in 70 degree mine

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Most of us will be struggling to stay warm in the frigid temperatures. Yet for 1,600 people who work in an underground renovated limestone mine in the Northland, shorts and t-shirts are a must.

The temperature inside SubTropolis stays at a consistent 70 degrees year-round. Most employees park underground as well, so they don't bother wearing jackets to work.

The U.S. Postal Service keeps its stamps inside SubTropolis. Ford uses the consistent temperatures to test its trucks before sending them to the lot.

While they may not see the sun for eight hours or have a window view from their office, employees say it's the tradeoff for feeling toasty.

"Most people ask me 'Hey! Mike do you need vitamin D, there's no sunlight down there.' It's kind of a joke but for all of us, we're the ones laughing because it's 70 degrees today and everybody else is bundled up in a coat and scarf and we are nice and warm here," said Mike Bell, the general manager of Hunt Midwest.

Scott Presnell's company, Paris Brothers, uses the warm climate to store exotic coffee beans from all around the world. He says the environment 75 feet underground typically "wows" new employees.

"It's always interesting to work in an underground scenario, but it takes you about a day to realize that it's always like we say 72 and overcast here inside the case so the weather is perfect, the environment is great. It's like working in any other office building except its perfect conditions," Presnell said.

The SubTropolis mine is big enough to have its own zip code. There are 55 million square feet of underground space, 5 million square feet of buildings and 7 miles of roadway. You could fit 38 Arrowhead Stadiums just in the portion that's developed.

The companies inside SubTropolis tell 41 Action News they save thousands of dollars a year in heat and air conditioning costs.

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