Rainy weather drives one HRM golf course into record-breaking losses

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By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax

WESTPHAL - Gavan Fitzpatrick’s golf course has already broken a few records this season, but he’s far from happy about it.

Gavan Fitzpatrick, general manager of the Grandview Golf and Country Club, walks along the path near the waterlogged rough on Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick, general manager of the Grandview Golf and Country Club in Westphal, said the unusual amount of rainfall of late has forced the course to shut down for eight days in the last month alone, and cancel seven tournaments so far this season.

“This is our worst June that we’ve had on record here,” Fitzpatrick said Tuesday. “(We’re breaking) all the kinds of records we don’t want to beat.”

Fitzpatrick said the club was closed over the entire wet Canada Day long weekend, resulting in a loss of $50,000.

Although Grandview has a membership base, Fitzpatrick said the loss of green fees and public revenues from tournaments due to weather has “hurt us a lot.”

According to Environment Canada, this June saw above-average amounts of rain, with well over 174 millimetres falling last month. The average rainfall for June is 90 millimetres.

Rachel Clarke, employee at Lakeland Plant World in Dartmouth, said the rain has hurt vegetable crops and kept business a “little bit less busy.”

“A lot of people are re-buying again … I think everybody lost their cucumbers this year. (It was) too wet,” Clarke said.

While locals may be fed up with rainy days, Kari Lewis, supervisor for the visitor information centre on the Halifax waterfront, said the weather isn’t driving tourists away.

In fact, Lewis said the rain may have brought more visitors into tourism centres because their original plans involved sunshine.

“People seem to be quite open to trying something they hadn’t thought of,” Lewis said of  activities like shopping, museum tours and indoor festivals.

“We can find lots of things to keep people busy and … have an excellent vacation even though the weather’s not perfect,” she said.

Organizations: Grandview Golf and Country Club, Environment Canada, Lakeland Plant World

Geographic location: Westphal, Dartmouth, Halifax

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