Central Valley warm weather improves outdoor business

FRESNO, Calif.

Managers at Airways Golf Course said January is looking to be a strong month for them. That is traditionally not the case. The downside to the situation is they have to use more water to maintain the grass during the drought. But for now managers are focused on how well business is doing.

"Weather-wise it's perfect, it's unbelievable. It shouldn't be like this, we're usually fighting frost and fog," golfer John Pogon said.

John Hernandez with Airways Golf Course can vouch for that statement. On a normal cold and wet January day Hernandez said he sees a fraction of the people at the golf course compared to what he is seeing now.

"If we're seeing 100 people on a good day, we're probably seeing 25 to 30 people max," Hernandez said.

Sunday morning about 70 people were playing at Airways Golf Course.

At the Fresno Chaffee Zoo the weather brought out several people, and it also brought certain animals out. The Galapagos tortoises who are not allowed out on cold days were basking in the sun.

"I think we've pretty much seen everything since we've been here. I don't think I've been out in the zoo in January," zoo goer Amber Howery said

Nearly 3,000 people went to the zoo Sunday. Last year's warm weather helped the zoo set a record in attendance. So far zoo staff said they are off to another strong start.

"Sixteen attendance has just been wonderful, we're looking at 15 percent over, just for January, of where we were last year, and if these trends keep up, we'll knock em dead again this year," said Dan Subaitis, General Curator at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

As the drought continues, businesses say they have concerns. Zoo staff said they have put in place water conservation measures. And at Airways Golf Course managers admit there are some dry spots from cutting back on water usage. But so far, they can't complain about business.

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