Local businesses banking on warm weather this weekend

DAMASCUS, Va. - Hopefully you had a chance to head outside and enjoy some of the nice weather we've had this weekend, but it's also good news for some local businesses.

News 5 took a trip to Damascus, Virginia and learned people are traveling from all over to rent bikes and enjoy the great outdoors on a rare-warm January weekend.

Busy is just one word to describe this weekend at Adventure Damascus. "Any time the sun comes out and weather gets a little warm the people come out to play," said shop owner Bill Leonard.

That playing means a boost in business by at least 40%. Leonard says this heat-wave in January is a blessing during a typically slow time of year, "Even the weekdays that have been fairly warm and rainy have been great."

It's been great news for bikers and hikers on the Virginia Creeper Trail as well. For Shannon Ellis, this warm weekend was a very pleasant surprise, "I've ridden the trail in fog, rain, snow, and sunshine. But it's a beautiful day."

Over at Clear Creek Golf Club in Bristol, Virginia the swing in temperatures is a big hit. "The prettier it is the more rounds they play, and the more rounds they play the more revenue we bring in," said General Manager Casey Barnes.

In fact, this time last year about 390 people came to play a round of golf. But we learned since January 1st of this year, nearly 550 golfers have been playing. "This time of year that's just unheard of. When you run out of carts in the middle of January, you know that's a good sign," added Barnes.

A sign that businesses at the mercy of mother nature hope continues throughout the winter.

Here's something you might not know, if you're planning to ride your bike along the Creeper Trail -- from the top of Whitetop Mountain to Damascus -- you may want to bundle up. We've learned the top of Whitetop Mountain can be 5-10 degrees cooler than the base in Damascus.

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