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Warm Presidents' Day weekend brings people out to play

Outdoor enthusiasts took advantage of the warm Presidents Day weekend weather. Golf courses, which usually have little business in February, saw record attendance and ski resorts remained busy.

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Lasorsa, Feb. 18 and 19 both had a high of 71 degrees.

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"The normal high is 46 and the normal low is 27," Lasorsa said. "This weather is similar to what we see at end of the April, beginning of May."

Lasorsa said Feb. 18's low was 27 and Feb. 19's low was 49.

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"The 19th was a record high minimum temperature," Lasorsa said. "The previous record high minimum temperature was 47 in 1976."

Clay Craft, general manager of the Oakmont Green Golf Course in Hampstead, said "it's been a really good winter for golf."

"We don't expect or budget for any type of business in February but people are playing," Craft said. "We didn't do a single round of golf in February last year, but we've already done well over 1,000 this month. It's a big difference from one year to the next."

Ben Sprolls, general manager at the Links at Challedon in Mount Airy, said the course had a "record number of rounds for two consecutive days in February."

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"Having this type of weather is a blessing," Sprolls said. "We don't budget too many players to come through in February, but we've had over 400 players over the weekend."

This Presidents Day, Dave Thomen will host a performance celebrating the country's heritage and the importance of diversity.

At Island Green Family Fun Center in Westminster, families played miniature golf and used the batting park over the weekend.

"Our weekend was outstanding," said employee Tyler Eikenberg. "It's one of the best Presidents Day weekends since we've been open. People were out here just enjoying the warm weather."

Rich Isaac, owner of River Downs Golf Course in Finksburg, said their weekend was also "fantastic."

"This time last year we had snow on the ground and nobody was playing golf," Isaac said. "They were out this weekend and it's been very pleasant. Any business in February is a bonus."

The National Weather Service reports that normal expected snowfall by Feb. 19 is 16.1 inches. This year, snowfall has only reached 7/10 of an inch. Despite the lack of snow, nearby ski resorts were still busy.

Chris Dudding, marketing director at Roundtop Mount Resort in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, said the weekend "worked out OK because people just want to be outside."

"It's certainly not the kind of the weather we imagined, but there's a lot of snow on the hill and people are enjoying being out in the sun," Dudding said.

Dudding said attendance was "very close to the numbers last year. It's within a percentage point of last year's attendance."

Katrina Gayman, director of marketing and sales at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., said "business was a little lighter than a normal Presidents Day weekend but we did have a nice crowd."

"We have plenty of snow and we're 100 percent open," Gayman said. "It's like spring skiing. The snow sets up really nice overnight, but conditions can get a little softer in the afternoon. We still think there's plenty of winter left and there's plenty of snow."

Anne Weimer, marketing director at Liberty Mountain Resort in Fairfield, Pa., agreed.

"It's taken a little toll on the mountain, but people are still skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing," Weimer said. "They've been embracing the warm weather. We're a little lighter on visitors but the hotel is full. We know winter's not over. We're looking forward to some more cold."

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