CHICAGO (CBS) — This year, Wendella Sightseeing Boats is celebrating its 80th season. But for the first time ever, the season is delayed because of our long, icy winter.

It became painfully clear about a week and a half ago that Wendella would have to delay the start of its season.

And that’s bad news for the 80-year-old company.

“It certainly is. Usually we would be starting on Friday for our 2014 season.”

Craig Wenokur is vice president and general manager of Wendella Sightseeing Boats.

“We’re stuck in the ice and cold down in Dolton, Illinois, right now.”

Dolton is where Wendella’s four tour boats and four water taxis are kept in the off-season.

Wenokur says the season will start April 4 at the latest – maybe earlier.

He says Wendella is probably losing a couple hundred thousand dollars by having to delay the start of the season.

His competition – Shoreline Sightseeing – keeps its boats at Navy Pier and plans to open on Saturday