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Felicita Golf Course closes, big changes for owner Angino - abc27 WHTM

Felicita Golf Course closes, big changes for owner Angino

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The following article has been updated to clarify that only Felicita Golf Course is closed. The resort remains open for weddings and other events.

 

The sign on the door of the pro shop at Felicita Golf Course says "closed for the season."

Its owner says closed for much longer.

"I am out of the golf and food business," said Felicita owner Richard Angino Tuesday afternoon in front of his law firm in Susquehanna Township.

Angino said he plowed a lot of green into the fairways and greens of Felicita, which is cut into a mountain just outside Harrisburg.

Formerly Blue Mountain Golf Course, Angino says he tried to model Felicita after Augusta, the famous site of the Masters in Georgia. He did attract the Future's Tour to his course for a couple years, but he couldn't attract enough Midstaters to the facility.

"If Augusta costs $10 more than the other golf course, the Central Pennsylvania individuals would rather save that $10, if that summarizes it. Cost does matter in Central Pennsylvania, I'm married to a Pennsylvania Dutch woman," Angino said with a chuckle.

But Midstate golf insiders attribute the course's downfall to Angino himself. They say that Angino alienated golfers because he cared more about his flowers than the needs of his golfers. Sources also say that Angino angered doctors, an important subset in the golf course business, because he is a medical malpractice attorney.

Angino agreed. "I think there are quite a few people who don't like Richard Angino," he said with candor. "I'm honest enough to recognize that my being a litigator has probably had the biggest impact on the lack of success of golf [at Felicita]."

But his resort isn't the only part of Angino's life in flux. The iconic Angino and Rovner law firm is no more, though the sign still exists along Front Street. It'll soon be replaced by Angino and Lutz. Rovner and four other attorneys recently left the firm. Angino calls it downsizing and says the firm had just 45 medical malpractice cases last year.

"You're looking at the guy who currently is handling 30 cases himself," Angino said. "So did I need five lawyers for 45 medical mal cases?"

According to Dauphin County tax records obtained by abc27, Angino owes $265,604 in back taxes for 2012 and 2013. He owes the county an additional $121,091 on other properties, including the office, for the same years.

But Angino, 73, says he's working harder as a litigator than he has in years. He looks forward to enhancing the gardens at Felicita and promises to work with a developer to do something with the property. Felicita is still open for weddings and other events.

He says he's also relieved to no longer be losing so much money on the resort and to have made tough decisions about it and his practice.

"It's been stressful. Stressful to go through so much change. So I'm relaxed at the moment to know the changes are done and we now have tomorrow a sunny day hopefully."

Rovner and three other attorneys that left Angino had no comment  about the terms of their departure. Rovner did say the parting "was amicable, let's leave it at that."

Angino said Felicita gift cards with be honored or refunded.

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