Recent storms creating a problem for local outdoor businesses

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The grass is green at Airways Golf Course in East Central Fresno, but the recent rain has profits moving a little too close to the red. (KFSN)

The grass is green at Airways Golf Course in East Central Fresno, but the recent rain has profits moving a little too close to the red.

"You know we have had a few days where we haven't had any people come out and play, and typically when it rains a lot we will have 60-percent of the people who have made tee times cancel their tee times because they just don't want to play in the rain," said Kasey Wallace, Airways Golf Course General Manager.

Wallace said even after the rain is gone the puddles remain and a flooded fairway prevents golf carts from traveling on the course. All of that keeps customers who need a cart away.

This weekend's storm caused some minor flood damage and washed away several hours of work for employees at Blackbeard's Family Entertainment.

"It impacts employees tremendously too, because obviously if you are not running the attractions you don't need the employees outside. So once it starts raining customers leave and employees go with them," said Joe Simmons, Blackbeards General Manager.

Simmons said 90-percent of their business comes from the miniature golf course and go cart race track.

Over at the Chaffee Zoo the rain has not discouraged visitors. Officials said they set new attendance records in 2016, and the safety of visitors is a priority especially when it rains.

"We can react very quickly and get people where they need to go and get the animals in that need to be brought in, as well keeping our staff safe and healthy," said Mark Halvorsen, Chaffee Zoo.

The staff practices several weather drills on a regular basis and they are prepared to keep the animals warm with heat lamps when it is cold and dry when it rains.

"If there is a really heavy down pour everything will be given access, we will open the doors to their barns so the animals can go in and out so that they are safe and they are not stuck outside in the pouring rain," said Halvorsen.
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