Light Up Middletown, a drive-through fantasy light display, hasn’t seen an increase in its already-busy display, but it has seen an increase in walking traffic thanks to the warm weather. The display is open 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through New Year’s Eve at Smith Park in Middletown. Admission is by cash donation. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

Warmer Butler County temps means better business for some

But the 50- and 60-degree temperatures have allowed some to do out-of-season activities, such as a backyard grill out or hitting the links at one of the area courses, like Fairfield’s 18-hole South Trace.

“It’s an opportunity to play if it’s your favorite sport and play when you normally can’t,” said Tiphanie Howard, Fairfield Parks and Recreation director. “Normally people have stored their golf clubs for the winter and don’t break them out until spring. A lot of people are eager to break them out.”

The unanticipated rounds of golf also add more revenue to the city’s coffers.

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A lot of people are also eager to wash the winter crud off their vehicles.

Johnny’s Car Wash, which has one of its three full-service car wash locations on Kingland Drive in West Chester Twp., has seen about a 30 to 40 percent increase business because of the holidays and warm weather.

“If it’s real cold, once they get in their cars they don’t want to get back out,” said Johnny’s General Manager Ron Woolwine. “And we’re getting help from the holidays, too.”

They’ll see a jump from Thanksgiving up until New Year’s Day, he said.

Though the lack of snow takes away from the ambiance at drive-through holiday light displays, such as Light Up Middletown, they’ll still see cars lined up until New Year’s Eve. The warm weather, though, allows more people to walk through the display, said Light Up Middletown Chairman Bill Becker.

“People would come whether it’s cold or warm out,” he said. “When it’s warm out, more people will come, park and walk.”

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Expect the warm weather to last until Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lott.

“We’ve already been pretty warm for the past few days,” he said, adding the high temperatures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s. The normal high is about 40 degrees, Lott said.

But the high-pressure system that moved and pulled warm air from the South won’t last as a cold front will move in Sunday. That will bring upwards of an inch of rain across Southwest Ohio, he said.

The cold front will force a drop to near-normal weather, Lott said. Expect 40-degree temperatures from Monday until Wednesday. After Wednesday, you can expect another temperature increase, Lott said.

“We’ll gradually warm back up but not nearly what we’re seeing now,” he said.

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