DAVIDSON – River Run Country Club wasn’t the only entity to benefit from the Web.com Tour’s Chiquita Classic golf tournament Sept. 2-8.
National television coverage from the Golf Channel helped put Davidson on the map in the golfing world, but experts say the tournament was a windfall for the entire region in terms of tourism and hotels.
“The national exposure from all the media coverage is definitely beneficial for the entire Lake Norman region,” Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Courtney Wolfrom said. “(It) will hopefully open the door for recruiting additional golf tournaments to our area.”
The tournament also succeeded in opening the door for more hotel rentals when next year’s event returns as part of a three-year agreement with the PGA Tour.
“At least nine hotels were impacted with 250-plus hotel room nights generated,” Visit Lake Norman Director of Sales Travis Dancy said. “That figure doesn’t include additional traveling party and third-party booking hotel room nights (from online options including Expedia and Hotel.com), and there is always a significant amount of rooms booked through those mediums.”
Visit Lake Norman didn’t analyze the estimated economic impact from the tournament, but Davidson College’s economics department is conducting a study. The department’s findings, Dancy said, should be completed by December.
“From a hotel prospective, the event comes at a great time,” he added. “September, especially near Labor Day, is a historically (slow) time period for our hotels. Some of the staff we worked with came into town as early as Aug. 1 and stayed through the end of the event.”
It’s also tough to put a price tag on how many people saw River Run and the surrounding community on television. The opportunity to display the region to such an audience was another positive.
“It's one of the most significant events to come to Lake Norman with regards to exposure,” Dancy said. “The fact that it was the only televised golf event that weekend and broadcast internationally to 80 million countries on the Golf Channel is tremendous. We certainly wanted to take advantage of that international platform to showcase Lake Norman.”