ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – An approaching snowstorm didn’t stop people from lining up outside King Kone on College Avenue Friday, as the soft serve ice cream shop opened for its 50th season.

“50 years we’ve been coming here. Every summer, every summer,” said Tracy, as she waited for her sundae. “The ice cream is wonderful. I don’t know what brand they use. I don’t think they’ve ever veered from it. It’s been the same. It’s creamy. It’s the best ice cream. I mean, when people come to town the one place they ask about is here.”

“Right now it’s snowing and you’re here. Why is that?” asked 18 news reporter Nicolas Dubina.

“I’ve already done my spring cleaning, its summer.” said Tracy.

“Does this mark the unofficial beginning of spring for you?

“Yes, it does. Yes, it does.”

King Kone has been run by the same family since opening in 1973. As the shop marks half-a-century in business, its transitioning to the family’s third generation of management. “This store actually was founded by my wife’s grandmother and grandfather, Nellie and Ulisse Spaziani,” said Kyle Metz, who co-owns the shop with his wife Amy Spaziani. “They opened it in 1973, so we’re the third generation within the family to own and operate it.” Amy Spaziani told 18 News her uncle and aunt, Steve and Beth Spaziani, have been running King Kone for the last 15 years. Steve and Beth Spaziani are planning to retire. Amy Spaziani says that’s why she is stepping in to help manage King Kone with her husband, so the beloved ice cream shop stays in the family.

Kyle Metz says the shop sees some of its busiest months while it’s still cold, and families haven’t left for summer vacations yet. “Generally, I guess there’s some pent-up demand through the winter months, so yeah, despite the fact that we’ve got some nice lake effect snow right now, you know, we should have a pretty good turnout. It’s nice to be part of the community. It’s nice that people feel pretty strongly about the product that we’ve been putting out here for, you know, decades now, 50 years,” said Metz.

King Kone will be open 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The shop will stay open through labor day weekend. For more updates you can visit the King Kone Facebook page.