Unusually warm winter has snowbirds flocking to South MS - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Unusually warm winter has snowbirds flocking to South MS

February is the height of the snowbird season on the coast, where golfers from northern states head south to enjoy our weather, casinos, beaches, and of course golf.  (Photo source: WLOX) February is the height of the snowbird season on the coast, where golfers from northern states head south to enjoy our weather, casinos, beaches, and of course golf.  (Photo source: WLOX)
Golf course managers say while we are still not at pre-Katrina levels, business is getting better. (Photo source: WLOX) Golf course managers say while we are still not at pre-Katrina levels, business is getting better. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Every year, they flock to the coast seeking warm temperatures and great golf. They are the snowbirds. Hurricane Katrina dealt a blow to the annual migration, but business is getting back up to par.

At the Great Southern Golf Club, there is a familiar sight in the parking lot. There are cars from way up north, and there is the familiar sound of clubs striking balls. 

The snowbirds have arrived, and they like what they see. One of them is Wayne Jacobson from Minnesota.  

“My wife loves the ocean, and loves the sun, and we love to golf and go hit the casinos every once in a while and have some fun in there. It's just a fun place to go to,” Jacobson said. 

The golf is great, and so are the deals. Tracy McGuire is the manager at Great Southern.  

“We have a monthly membership called a nonresident. They pay $250 a month, green fees, cart fees, unlimited golf. They'll play anywhere from 15 to 25 rounds a month,” McGuire explained. 

For these golfers, including Jim Kovanda, of Michigan, the deals don't stop there.

“It's quite affordable. Housing is significantly less than a comparable place in Florida. Food is about the same, but relatively speaking, you can go out and have a good time and not have to worry about breaking the budget,” said Kovanda.

In years past, many of the coast golf courses relied on package deals with hotels, motels, and condos in order to drum up business. Now, things have changed. They're becoming much more reliant on self-promotion. Debbie Joyce is the manager at Sunkist Country Club. 

“We have a website. We use Facebook. We send out email blasts to the people that we get their email from to let them know what special deals we might have going one,” Joyce said. 

When the putts drop, it also bodes well for the future. That fact is backed up by Canadian snowbird Paul Troseth.  

“I spent three months here last year. I met these guys through golf, and I liked it, so this year, I've returned for five months. My whole vacation will be here,” Troseth beamed.

That's what industry officials love to hear to help drive our coast economy.

Officials with the association that oversees golf on the coast estimate the annual economic impact of snowbird season is between $3 million and $5 million.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • One student in custody after post scares Stone County parents

    One student in custody after post scares Stone County parents

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:40 AM EST2018-02-22 14:40:41 GMT

    Stone County investigators say one student is in custody this morning, being questioned about a social media post that issued a scary threat. The words in that post were chilling. Someone posted "Killing ppl at stone middle school and high school" on Facebook early this morning. That post has Wiggins Police, the Stone County Sheriff's Department and the FBI all investigating this case.

    More >>

    Stone County investigators say one student is in custody this morning, being questioned about a social media post that issued a scary threat. The words in that post were chilling. Someone posted "Killing ppl at stone middle school and high school" on Facebook early this morning. That post has Wiggins Police, the Stone County Sheriff's Department and the FBI all investigating this case.

    More >>
  • WLOX Editorial: Swift action needed

    WLOX Editorial: Swift action needed

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 4:48 PM EST2018-02-21 21:48:13 GMT

    In the days since the shootings that killed 17 people in a Florida school, tensions have been high among students and parents across the nation. In our area, possible threats and rumors of threats yielded quick action to find and arrest those making these threats. That is how it should be.   

    More >>

    In the days since the shootings that killed 17 people in a Florida school, tensions have been high among students and parents across the nation. In our area, possible threats and rumors of threats yielded quick action to find and arrest those making these threats. That is how it should be.   

    More >>
  • Harrison County Court declares remains of condo project as “blighted”

    Harrison County Court declares remains of condo project as “blighted”

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 7:08 PM EST2018-02-22 00:08:16 GMT
    The property's owner has until the beginning of March to appeal the court's order. (Photo Source: WLOX)The property's owner has until the beginning of March to appeal the court's order. (Photo Source: WLOX)
    The property's owner has until the beginning of March to appeal the court's order. (Photo Source: WLOX)The property's owner has until the beginning of March to appeal the court's order. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Henderson Point residents frustrated by the remains of a stalled condo project are excited by news that the property may finally come down.

    More >>

    Henderson Point residents frustrated by the remains of a stalled condo project are excited by news that the property may finally come down.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly