Warm winter heats up demand at area golf courses

YORK TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Warm weather in the forecast is cooling off business for some winter activities and heating up the means for other sports.

Many people were Wednesday, taking advantage of the above average temperatures.

February in Pennsylvania usually is a good time to go snow tubing but the tubing hill at Heritage Hills Resort is closed for a few days, while the golf course is open.

It's a warm February day, and winter is out of sight and out of mind for several golfers.

Golfer Len Vadas said "people, they figured they had to wait until March or April to play golf, and here in the nice weather, you'll see people out in t-shirts and shorts today."

Heritage Hills resort Assistant Golf Professional Drew Good said "the weather has been great for my golfers, which in my mind, I love my golf. So, that comes first."

A few people took advantage of Wednesday's temperatures, as the demand to hit the links heats up.

However, with 70 degree days in the forecast, Heritage Hills assistant golf professional Drew Good already has 80 golfers on the books for Thursday.

"People calling left and right. In fact, this weekend, I think Sunday, we had over 140 golfers on Sunday. As a matter of fact, we also had snow tubing going on as well," Good said.

The warmer weather certainly is driving business on the golf course. It's also creating competition between winter versus summer sports. It's why Heritage Hills is temporarily putting tubing on ice.

"We've had about five or six calls so far this morning, asking me about temperature-wise, and everything like that, if the snow tubing is going to be open. Yes, I would love to go ahead and say yes, it is going to be opening, but you know, in all actuality Mother Nature plays a role in it," Good said.

Some golfers out on the greens may be keeping score Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day prediction.

"Six more weeks of winter, and I said I don't know about that. I said the way things have been I think he's going to come up on the tail end of this," Vadas said.

Hot or cold, this winter's changing temperatures have been good for various types of business.

"We had our mini-golf open, we had our golf course open, we have snow tubing open, and we had an ice skating open, so it was all over the place, which as a resort, that's what you want," Good said.

Cooler nights may create good conditions for tubing. The Heritage Hills staff will keep an eye on the forecast for several days to determine when or if the tubing hill could reopen.

At the moment, the weather is too warm to tell.

"Obviously, a lot different this year. Pennsylvania, you never know what you're going to get up here.