PALMYRA TOWNSHIP – The Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce isn't so happy with Mother Nature. The group had to cancel its Ice Tee Golf Tournament on Lake Wallenpaupack for the second straight year.
It's almost all water and no ice on the lake, not you're typical January scene.
Golfers looking forward to the Ice Tee golf tournament on a frozen lake are now disappointed for the second straight year. The last time the lake was frozen solid was in 2011.
“The golfers are a little bit frustrated because once again they can’t come out for a second year in a row. You get, ‘well, can’t you put it on land?' But the whole uniqueness to this tournament is to play on Lake Wallenpaupack," said Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Gillette.
The Ice Tee Golf Tournament is a big fundraiser for the Chamber. Officials said in years when it does take place, it brings in at least $8,000 dollars.
Sculpted Ice Works is usually busy carving displays for the event, and getting ready to promote its Crystal Cabin Fever event scheduled for February. Workers said they too are disappointed with the mild weather.
“During the Ice Tee Tournament we do get a lot of exposure so hopefully it doesn’t affect us too bad this year," said Kristen Johnson of Sculpted Ice Works.
It takes about a foot of ice to make the golf tournament possible, but right now it’s paper thin. Now the Chamber of Commerce is looking at other ways to make money since Mother Nature won’t cooperate.
The Chamber has now planned a half marathon near Lake Wallenpaupack for September. The race is expected to take place rain or shine.
"Oh, it’s very exciting, it’s something that will really become a signature event for the lake region of the Pocono Mountains," said Gillette.
But that doesn't mean this Ice Tee Golf Tournament will be gone for good. Owners at Ehrhardt's Waterfront Restaurant along Lake Wallenpaupack said when Mother Nature does co-operate, that this winter fun still draws a crowd.
"Actually sometimes it makes it even more popular because people look so forward to it, they say well, we can’t do it this year, can’t do it that year, we will all come this year," said Ehrhardt's Waterfront Restaurant co-owner Craig Ehrhardt.
The Pocono Lake Region Chamber will also have a chili and wing cook-off at Ehrhardt's Restaurant this March to help make up for these mild temperatures. The Ice Tee Golf Tournament has been cancelled at least ten times since it began in the early 1970's.